Smart devices can be, well, difficult. Sort of like high maintenance women. If you don’t treat them just right they will laugh and you and creep you out.
This is happening to Alexa users all over the country as the voice of Amazon seems to have the smart device version of Tourette’s.
…users have been complaining that their devices would laugh randomly or simply refuse to do what they were asked. Is your smart speaker going to murder you in your sleep? Thankfully, no. Amazon has confirmed that it’s aware of the problem and is “working to fix it.” The company hasn’t said what went wrong, but it’s notable that this isn’t a case of accidentally triggering the voice assistant — the laughter has kicked in without triggering the signature blue light that accompanies responses on Echo speakers and other Alexa devices.
That would be enough for many of us out on the fruited plain to ditch the devices. But Amazon doesn’t want We the People to do that.
Whatever the cause, this isn’t what Amazon needed. Alexa suffered an outage as part of a broader cloud service problem just days ago, and it just spent an unearthly sum of money on a Super Bowl ad to persuade people that Alexa was indispensable.
Amazon claims that Alexa is hearing things, and then goes off on a giggling fit.
“In rare circumstances, Alexa can mistakenly hear the phrase ‘Alexa, laugh.’ We are changing that phrase to be ‘Alexa, can you laugh?’ which is less likely to have false positives, and we are disabling the short utterance ‘Alexa, laugh.’ We are also changing Alexa’s response from simply laughter to ‘sure, I can laugh’ followed by laughter.”
Sure, blame it on the programming…oh, wait.
Somehow it does not seem that Alexa and all she can do will replace the average smart phone that can do all the same things just without the fits of laughter.