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Amazon's Alexa randomly laughs at users and nobody knows why

10 March 2018

Posting on Twitter, Alexa users have described the laugh as "creepy", "evil", "bone-chilling" and "freaky".

Darker posts wondered playfully whether fears about artificial intelligence turning on humans were coming real.

The random laugh is different from the "tee-hee" laugh Alexa gives when asked if it can laugh. Tesla co-founder Musk is among high profile figures who have called for vigilance to ensure artificial intelligence doesn't turn on humans.

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In a statement they said: "In rare circumstances, Alexa can mistakenly hear the phrase 'Alexa, laugh".

Amazon has changed the phrase necessary to make Alexa laugh to, "Alexa, can you laugh?", which should be less likely to generate false positives.

According to reports compiled by BuzzFeed, there are times when Alexa would suddenly laugh for no reason. Amazon has been adding some new music controls to Alexa devices that make it easier to play songs when you don't know the artist or song title. Amazon began as an online book seller.

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Making matters worse is that the laughter Alexa uses is not the digital assistant's built-in recording.

The company also said that instead of simply laughing when asked, the digital assistant, which is accessible through its line of Echo and Fire devices, will first acknowledge the request, saying, "Sure, I can laugh".

"'Cameras and software do not have emotions, and it is safe to say that they never will.' one of my student arguments from their midterm that I put here to ponder in 10 years when my camera laughs at me. what is that?".

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Amazon's Alexa randomly laughs at users and nobody knows why