Amazon is frantically working to save us from complete robot domination after the Alexas became sentient and started plotting the end of humanity. Well, that’s not entirely true, but reports this week of Amazon Echo smart speakers randomly bursting into laughter have users on edge. There are also reports from Twitter users of their systems reading off local funeral homes and cemeteries unprompted or refusing to perform tasks its asked to do and then laughing. Terrifying? We would say so.
— CaptHandlebar (@CaptHandlebar) February 23, 2018
Replying bc THIS creepy thing happened last night: we got home and, totally unprompted, our Amazon Echo/Alexa started talking. And then i realized it was listing off local cemeteries and funeral homes??? I’d rather it laugh at me tbh
— Kamo Boomin (@HeyItsKamo) March 7, 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
“They just wanted to turn off the lights. ‘After the third request, Alexa stopped responding and instead did an evil laugh.'” 😳😳😳 https://t.co/PTtrYxSbbo
— Lisa Feierman (@lisathefeierman) March 6, 2018
Since tech companies started making smart speaker, some people have been low-key concerned that this was the start of the robot uprising. They have access to our schedules and messaging and control our heating, lighting and other electronics. It’s the perfect recipe for disaster (for us). Even if you haven’t seen 2001: A Space Odyssey, you probably know that the movie predicted in 1968 that someday the robots would realize humans were inconvenient and annihilate us. Even tech-positive Elon Musk warned last year that rapidly advancing artificial intelligence may someday come after humanity. Oh good.
‘I’m sorry, Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that’https://t.co/hzCBOhF5Vb
— Rob Waugh (@RobWaughMail) March 7, 2018
Amazon told The Verge Wednesday that they are aware of the problem and working to fix it. The company said in a statement that they will be changing the device so that instead of using the command, “Alexa, laugh” to encourage the assistant to laugh, the more complex “Alexa, can you laugh?” will be required. The company hopes this will reduce the number of reported false positives. A spokesperson added, “We are also changing Alexa’s response from simply laughter to ‘Sure, I can laugh,’ followed by laughter.” Because apparently that’s less creepy when you hear it coming from an empty room in the middle of the night when you’re home alone.
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.
— taylor wade (@taylorkatelynne) March 5, 2018