Users of Amazon's Alexa in recent weeks have reported the voice-activated software laughing, seemingly unprompted. Amazon says it's working to fix the glitch. Here's how Jimmy Kimmel and others reacted to the random laughing.
Alexa seems to think something is funny. Its owners aren’t in on the joke.
Some people recently started reporting that Amazon’s voice-activated digital assistant, often packaged in microphone- and speaker-bearing Echo devices, has laughed, unprompted.
Most Read Business Stories
- Big switch in Seattle homebuying: from most to fewest bidding wars in the country
- Seattle-area home prices drop again — down 11 percent in last six months
- Costco tightens standards for antibiotics use by meat producers
- Proposed H-1B rule change would benefit advanced degree holders
- King County family makes 'pretty decent money' but lives paycheck to paycheck. Here's the advice they got. | Money Makeover
For a society not entirely comfortable with the thought of letting a microphone and speaker combo controlled by a distant technology giant into people’s homes and offices, the effect was unsettling.
Amazon, apparently not amused, on Wednesday circulated a curt statement on the matter.
“We’re aware of this and working to fix it,” the company says.
In an emailed statement later Wednesday, Amazon suggested people were likely triggering Alexa’s laugh by accidentally requesting it.
“In rare circumstances, Alexa can mistakenly hear the phrase ‘Alexa, laugh,'” the company said. “We are changing that phrase to be ‘Alexa, can you laugh?’ which is less likely to have false positives, and we are disabling the short utterance ‘Alexa, laugh.'”
The company added it was changing Alexa’s default response to such commands from immediately laughing, to announcing it would laugh, and then doing so.
In the meantime, Jimmy Kimmel had fun with the glitch on his TV show and Twitter: