Amazon: Stop cackling, Alexa! | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 08.03.2018
  1. Inhalt
  2. Navigation
  3. Weitere Inhalte
  4. Metanavigation
  5. Suche
  6. Choose from 30 Languages


Amazon: Stop cackling, Alexa!

Online retailer Amazon is investigating its intelligent personal assistant Alexa, following reports that it has randomly laughed at users. The glitch has been commented on on Twitter and other social media platforms.

Amazon promised to keep virtual assistant Alexa from spontaneously cackling, giving users eerie feelings about what the artificial intelligence gadget might be plotting.

Users of smart speakers with Alexa assistant software had expressed their fears in recent weeks on Twitter and elsewhere, saying Alexa laughed menacingly for no apparent reason.

"If Alexa is laughing at you to your face, just imagine what it says about you behind your back," read one of the quips posted on Twitter. Here's another comment:

And @anniebonanannieTN also reported about the "creepy laugh":

Quick fix?

"We are aware of the problem and working to fix it," Amazon said in a statement. It told the technology website The Verge it planned to get rid of the glitch by disabling the phrase "Alexa, laugh" and replacing it with the command "Alexa, can you laugh?". That way, Alexa was less likely to return false positives, Amazon added.

The company will also change the assistant's response so it announces it will laugh before actually doing so.

Launched in 2014, the Alexa digital assistant has spread from the Amazon's Echo voice-commanded speakers to millions of devices, even cars.

Alexa competes with offerings from tech titans Apple, Google and Microsoft.

hg/lh (AFP, dpa)

DW recommends