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Amazon Working on a Fix for Alexa Devices Scaring Users With Creepy Laughter

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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For the past couple of weeks, speakers equipped with Amazon's Alexa voice-based personal assistant have been randomly laughing, scaring and creeping out speaker owners who have affected devices.


Complaints have been surfacing on Twitter, Reddit, and other social media platforms over the course of the last few weeks, but the issue started receiving widespread attention this week after it was shared on BuzzFeed. From Reddit:
A friend of mine at work just a couple of days ago told me this very thing happened at his moms house. He was face timing with his her(he jokes she is jealous of Alexa, his dad just loves it) and out of the blue in the background Alexa started to laugh, he even heard it on his end. Said it was super creepy. I'm waiting the have the holy hell scared out of me one quiet evening...or even worse, awakened by the one a foot from my head while I'm sleeping.
Some audio examples of the Alexa laugh, with a humorous skit from Jimmy Kimmel included

In a statement provided to The Verge this morning, Amazon said that it is aware that some Alexa-enabled devices are randomly laughing and a fix is in the works. "We're aware of this and working to fix it," Amazon said.

So Alexa decided to laugh randomly while I was in the kitchen. Freaked @SnootyJuicer and I out. I thought a kid was laughing behind me. pic.twitter.com/6dblzkiQHp - CaptHandlebar (@CaptHandlebar) February 23, 2018

Customers who have an Alexa-enabled device and are creeped out by the random and unprompted laughs may want to turn off their speakers until Amazon is able to locate the issue and push out a fix.

Update: Amazon says that in "rare circumstances" Alexa mistakenly hears the phrase "Alexa, laugh" which causes the creepy laughter. Amazon is changing the phrase to "Alexa, can you laugh?" to cut down on false positives.

Article Link: Amazon Working on a Fix for Alexa Devices Scaring Users With Creepy Laughter
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
34,971
36,958
The report on this ought to be good. Either they messed something up in the software, or they had some security breach were a 3rd party was able to insert some code

I think what you posted make sense and seems likely. Either way, it’s remotely kind of funny to hear some random laugh, but would even be funnier if I could see the expressions on peoples faces when they hear it for the first time.
 
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einsteinbqat

macrumors 6502
Nov 3, 2012
328
258
Canada
A friend of mine at work just a couple of days ago told me this very thing happened at his moms house. He was face timing with his her(he jokes she is jealous of Alexa, his dad just loves it) and out of the blue in the background Alexa started to laugh, he even heard it on his end. Said it was super creepy. I'm waiting the have the holy hell scared out of me one quiet evening...or even worse, awakened by the one a foot from my head while I'm sleeping.

Gosh, this was a pain to read...
 
Comment

57004

Cancelled
Aug 18, 2005
1,022
338
The report on this ought to be good. Either they messed something up in the software, or they had some security breach were a 3rd party was able to insert some code
Well in that case fair play to them :D I'd have a lot more respect for that than people using their skills for cryptolocker crap.

Though I'm sure if this was a prank they'd have made it more like MUUUUHAHAHAHAHHHH
 
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twistedpixel8

macrumors 6502
Jun 9, 2017
406
1,212
Get these creepy spy devices out of your home. Put phones in a faraday bag at night. Remove / disable smart device crap (they are never “smart”, just slow). Little Snitch/Micro Snitch all the Macs.

Take back your privacy.

Little Snitch is one of the single best pieces of software ever designed for Mac. It’s infinitely useful. I gladly throw money at Obj Dev for every new version.
 
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ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
9,603
6,855
Why does the picture in this article show an Amazon Echo with an Apple logo photoshopped over where there is supposed to be an Amazon logo?
 
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taco1138

macrumors newbie
Sep 21, 2016
11
26
Bizarre. Tbf, it isn’t any less creepy than knowing that JB is listening to everything said around those things.
 
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