Amazon’s in-home digital assistant Alexa has reportedly been unexpectedly laughing out loud at people as they go about their daily business.
The apparently random laughing has been creeping out some users and has generated a good deal of discussion on social media.
Alexa can be accessed via the Amazon Echo and other Amazon devices.
A number of users have reported the creepy laughing in recent weeks.
— CaptHandlebar (@CaptHandlebar) February 23, 2018
— Tal Goldfus (@talgoldfus) February 23, 2018
But, Amazon has now identified the issue and is working to change Alexa so that the random laughing is less likely to happen.
A March 8, 2018, New York Times report on the issue notes:
Now, Amazon says that it knows why that’s been happening and is working to fix the problem.
“In rare circumstances, Alexa can mistakenly hear the phrase ‘Alexa, laugh,’” when other words are spoken, Amazon said in an emailed statement. “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.’”
After the fix, when customers say “Alexa, can you laugh?’, the device will respond with the phrase “Sure, I can laugh.” before actually laughing.
Importance NoticeAfter considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.
These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.
Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.
And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.
When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.
I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.
A Big Thank YouI would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.
I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.
Closing DateHoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.
Thank you, one and all!