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10 March 2018, 01:55 | Jodi Jackson
Alexa the Amazon Echo’s assistant has a long history of unsettling behaviour
Several people who own Amazon's Echo speakers have reported a unusual bug: The Alexa voice assistant has been laughing for apparently no reason.
Even though Alexa will now wait a little longer, the digital assistant can still only respond to one command at a time. A software update has now fixed the problem, Amazon insists. Freaked @SnootyJuicer and I out. Plus, the AI will change its response from straight laughter to "Sure, I can laugh" and then laughter.
A user wrote on Twitter last month: "So Alexa made a decision to laugh randomly while I was in the kitchen".
The short laugh that users recorded and posted on Twitter sounds slightly sarcastic, as if the person laughing were trying to convey that they didn't really find whatever they'd just heard amusing.
"In rare circumstances, Alexa can mistakenly hear the phrase 'Alexa, laugh, '".
It doesn't explain why some people have noticed the Echo's blue ring doesn't light up when Alexa laughs, nor that she doesn't make the usual chime sound that indicates she actually heard what you said.
According to market research company eMarketer, 35.6 million Americans used a voice-activated digital assistant device at least once a month in 2017. Amazon also notes that you can stop the listening sooner by saying "stop" or "thank you".
But some users reported that the laughter occurred without Alexa being prompted to wake. The company has now changed the command to "Alexa, can you laugh?".
Others have claimed it happened when it was asked to perform different tasks, such as playing music.
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