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
- Retail turmoil triggers new visions for shopping malls like Northgate in Seattle
- Big Tech needs to face a Theodore Roosevelt-style trust busting | Jon Talton
- Interest on home equity loans is still deductible, but with a big caveat
- These companies will pay you to shut off your phone
- Amid bidding war for Amazon HQ2, Pittsburgh debates trade-offs
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: