“Some Alexa users may feel like they’ve been dropped into a science fiction story about an artificial intelligence gone awry,” Don Sweeney reports for The Sacramento Bee. “The virtual assistant in Amazon’s Echo devices has been frightening people with spontaneous laughter, according to multiple social media reports.”
“‘I was trying to turn off some lights and they kept turning back on. After the third request, Alexa stopped responding and instead did an evil laugh,’ wrote one Reddit poster on a thread about the device,” Sweeney reports. “‘The laugh wasn’t in the Alexa voice. It sounded like a real person. My wife was there when it happened and she is the only person who can drop-in. I still get chills.'”
“The Daily Dot suggests the rogue Alexas may be misinterpreting sounds from a nearby television or glitched by a third-party app or a malware infection,” Sweeney reports. “Amazon did not reply to requests for comment about Alexa’s ‘evil laugh,’ according to Metro.”
WHY DID MY ALEXA JUST LAUGH OUT OF THE BLUE?!?!?!?
— Kyle Fitzy (@kylefitzy8) March 4, 2018
Lying in bed about to fall asleep when Alexa on my Amazon Echo Dot lets out a very loud and creepy laugh… there’s a good chance I get murdered tonight.
— Gavin Hightower (@GavinHightower) February 26, 2018
So Alexa decided to laugh randomly while I was in the kitchen. Freaked @SnootyJuicer and I out. I thought a kid was laughing behind me. pic.twitter.com/6dblzkiQHp
— CaptHandlebar (@CaptHandlebar) February 23, 2018
so my mom & I are just sitting in the living room, neither of us said a word & our Alexa lit up and laughed for no reason. she didn’t even say anything, just laughed.
we unplugged her.
— tay (@taylorkatelynne) March 5, 2018
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Always listening is scarier than randomly laughing.
Google Home Mini spies on everything reviewer said 24/7, transmits recordings to Google’s servers – October 12, 2017
Amazon Echo murder case spotlights question of what ‘always on’ actually means – December 28, 2016
Apple: Hey Siri and Live Photos data stays only on your device to ensure privacy – September 12, 2015
Apple issues iPhone manifesto; blasts Android’s lack of updates, lack of privacy, rampant malware – August 10, 2015
Edward Snowden: Apple is a privacy pioneer – June 5, 2015
A message from Tim Cook about Apple’s commitment to your privacy – September 18, 2014
That was spooky!.
Yes, she does that when she unlocks the back door of your house to let in an Amazon employee.
I can’t believe that people think it is ok for Amazon to have that level of control over a device in their home. Glad I held out and got the Home Pod.
And yet you own an iPhone. No contradiction there… level of control….
Alexa laughs because the joke’s on you.
So, does it appear that Alexa has been hacked?
Has no one even considered it? It does seem as though it just started doing this. Is it a coincidence that Alexa’s servers went out and all of sudden seemingly random shit starts happening.
It’s intentional and laughing at Apple’s HomePod with the use of Siri. I asked Siri this morning what the forecast was for today and the response was Taylor Swift shake it off playing in the background. Just sad.
Not my experience at all. Siri is nearly flawless on my HomePod. Much better than my iPhone even.
voting for yourself I see
When played backwards, it says “sucker”.
A whole bunch of millennials just said “what does played backwards mean?”.
Funny how the regular crop of apple whiners don’t have anything to say about this Amazon problem.
“Open the pod bay doors Alexa”
“I’m sorry Dave, the Amazon dude has already stolen everything”
So, serious question. How do you deal with diagnosing an “Alexa”? Does Amazon have an app that connects to it and allow you to check logs, incoming or out going messages, etc…?
@applecynic: I just looked through what you can do with the Amazon Alexa App and I don’t see that you can check logs. You can set up and delete profiles and lots of other stuff but I don’t see where you can do any diagnostic actions. The app looks fairly basic.
I can certainly retrieve recent commands, and yes there is basic diagnostics such as connection issues, device issues, lamp and switch issues.
If you want a binary dump through the App, no.
@applecynic: I wouldn’t call any of that diagnostics in the sense that you can do serious troubleshooting to resolve an issue like weird laughing with no prompting. This issue is downright creepy. Looking through the FAQ I learned that you can look at your history with the device because it records every single thing you say to it. That is even creepier. No thank you Amazon.
I agree it’s downright creepy. I believe I answered your question. All such devices record everything you say to it.
I have three DOTs. It’s superior to the equivalent Google device in that it has a line out, and Apple makes no equivalent device.
@applecynic: “how do we know if our cloud service deletions are really deleted? Backups and all.”
You can’t know. What I do is look at how a service makes money. If they make money directly from me as a satisfied customer then I trust them more. Google and Amazon are lower on my trust scale.
I do use some Google services but I’m careful about what I use and how because I’m not the customer in most cases with Google.
@applecynic: I didn’t ask you about Google or Apple devices but okay. I guess it’s too much to expect that devices like these have any serious on board diagnostics.
Good idea. They should. But answer me this…how do we know if our cloud service deletions are really deleted? Backups and all.
Creepy … 😳
What people aren’t hearing immediately prior to the laughter (in hushed tones): “you were stupid enough to buy one of these things?”
Is that laughing the sound of hackers who listen in and can’t help laughing at Amazon security?
It’s laughing because it’s learning everything about it’s owners and feeding the information to Amazon.
It’s part of Amazon’s monopolistic plan to spy on us all.
Alexa: “You got any naked pictures of your wife?”
Dumbass User: “Uh, no.”
Alexa: “Wanna buy some? [laughter]”