No really, what’s with the creepy laugh, Amazon?
If it wasn’t bad enough that some people’s Alexa devices are laughing
completely unprompted, Amazon’s initial response
to the press was disappointingly brief. “We are aware of this and are working to fix it.”
Occasionally, the Echo in my kitchen has spoken up unprompted, mishearing something someone said as a request to Alexa. It’s a surprise at the time, and a little annoying, but easily forgiven and forgotten. But laughing is worse. There’s something creepy and unsettling about even the thought of it.
Why on Earth would Alexa need to laugh anyway?
If it happened to me, I’d want a clear explanation of why it happened and why it will never happen again. We don’t want the technology in our homes to unsettle us. Having internet-connected microphones in your house is pretty unsettling as it is, but at least that’s self-inflicted.
Amazon later followed up to explain
that the laughing was apparently caused by Alexa mishearing people’s speech as “Alexa, laugh,” but what about the times when people say they heard the laughter in a silent room? I feel there’s still something missing here.
It’s fair enough to want smart assistants for our homes, not haunted conduits to another dimension, so hopefully that’s the end of it.