Amazon admits Alexa is making terrifying laughing sounds and promises to make it stop

The issue has horrified some users so much they’ve been forced to unplug their Echos

Andrew Griffin
Thursday 08 March 2018 02:06
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Man asks Amazon Alexa to replay unprompted laughing noise

Amazon has admitted that its Echo devices are emitting horrifyingly creepy laughs.

The company has promised to fix the issue with Alexa that is causing the chilling noises to come out of it.

But Amazon’s admission comes before the problem caused many people to lose sleep – and led some to completely unplug their devices out of fear.

Towards the end of February some Echo owners reported that their devices appeared to start laughing for no reason. The noises would simply come out of the little cylinder, despite not being requested.

That served only to terrify some people, who were home alone or operating their Echos at night. Since the voice sounded entirely realistic and often seemed to come without any prompting, some users called the noises “bone chilling” and reported they had been so creeped out they couldn’t sleep.

Woman asks Amazon Alexa to replay unprompted laughing sound

One Amazon user was able to record the strange sound by asking Alexa to “replay” and then recording what came out.

Amazon initially said it was aware of the problem and was working on it.

But now the company has said it will change the phrase used to request a laugh from the simple “Alexa, laugh” to “Alexa, can you laugh?” She will also say “Sure, I can laugh” before the noises come out, so that it’s clear they’re coming from Alexa and are the result of a request, Amazon said.

The fix suggests that Amazon thinks people are accidentally triggering the laugh command and hearing the noise come out as a result. Many reported that they had been saying similar things to laugh to the voice assistant before it made the strange noise – with numerous users hearing it after having asked Alexa to change the lights or turn off a lamp, for instance.

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