Unprompted, creepy laughter from Alexa is freaking out Echo users
Don't be alarmed! Your Alexa-enabled device may lapse into a sudden fit of giggles, but Amazon is aware of the problem. Recent reports detail a quirky bug that has Amazon's virtual assistant Alexa laughing for no apparent reason, scaring the daylights out of unsuspecting users.
According to a Bloombergreport, Amazon is aware of the issue and is working to fix it. The news comes a few days after users took to social media to share their stories of strange laughter coming from their Echo devices. Some claim Alexa laughed in response to unrelated or misunderstood commands, while others claim Alexa simply laughed out of the blue.
It's not uncommon for Echo devices to hear sounds and mistake them for a user's wake word. Amazon's smart speakers can be programmed to respond to a few words: "Alexa" is the most common, but other options like "Echo" and "Amazon" are available as well. These bouts of laughter could be a byproduct of Echo devices mistakenly hearing their wake words.
But reported situations of unprompted laughter in silent homes are obviously quite creepy. Some users have resorted to unplugging their Echo devices to ensure that Alexa cannot interject anything, ominous or not.
While my Echo device has lit up and responded to random noises in my home a few times, I've never experienced the laughing issue. When asked, "Alexa, how do you laugh?" my Echo replied, "Sure, I can laugh—tee hee!"
It's always worth checking the History section of the Alexa mobile app in situations like this. Since Echo devices are always listening for their wake words, they record and save clips to the cloud every time they hear something that they think Alexa needs to respond to. Users can review and delete these clips at any time in the Alexa app's History section.
Ars has reached out to Amazon for further comment.