Users report Amazon's 'Alexa' laughing spontaneously, in childlike tone
An Amazon Echo, the flagship product featuring virtual assistant Alexa. Photo: Amazon
Alexa, the virtual assistant used by Amazon, has been spontaneously laughing at users with a childlike tone, according to reports.
Popularized on the Amazon Echo, the virtual assistant "Alexa" is now widely used across Amazon's suite of smart speaker devices. Alexa typically operates like most other artificial assistants (such as Apple's Siri or Google's "Hey Google"), answering questions, making calendar appointments or playing music at the request of a user's voice.
However, NBC News reported that Alexa has been bursting out into strange, childlike bouts of laughter, often at inappropriate times without being prompted.
Others said the virtual assistant had laughed at them when they were laying in bed falling asleep, or even that they walked in to an empty home to find Alexa having a conversation with, apparently, no one.
"We got home, totally unprompted...I realized it was listening off local cemeteries and funeral homes," another Twitter user, @HeyItsKamo described.
So what's causing this strange occurrence? Amazon had acknowledged the issue, and is "working to fix it," according to a spokesperson. The company said its virtual assistant may be misreading other commands "in rare circumstances," leading to the laughter.