That technology could be a double-edged sword has struck home is a bizarre way for the users of Amazon’s Echo home speakers based on it AI software Alexa. People have noticed that the speakers let out a loud laughter without even being woken up by the user.
Reports of the strange behavior by Amazon’s AI-based speaker started towards the end of February some Echo owners reported that their devices appeared to start laughing for no reason.
Several users of Alexa took to social media to share the fact that Alexa was ‘creepily’ laughing without being prompted by the user.
“Lying in bed about to fall asleep when Alexa on my Amazon Echo Dot lets out a very loud and creepy laugh... there’s a good chance I get murdered tonight,” one user tweeted.
But Amazon was quick to acknowledge the defect in its device and has issued a statement that it is working on removing the defect. Some of the suggestions to remove this defect include removing the phrase “Alexa laugh” and maybe replacing it with a question, “Alexa, can you laugh?”.
The expectation is, with this improvement, the issue of Alexa misinterpreting similar sounding phrases. Going further the response to this question could also be changed to giving a reply and then the laughter being played out instead of just laughing out. The answer could be “Sure I can laugh” and then the sound is played.
There were some who though it might be because Alexa is mistaking the pronunciation of similar sounding words, but if one goes by the subsequent social media posts by users, it appears this ‘laughter’ bug is observed even without any prompting by the user.
Some have used the reports to refer to Sci-Fi movie scenes and ask if this could be the indicator of things to come when technology or robots virtually take over your life.