Amazon says it has fixed unprompted laughter from Alexa

Users had complained that virtual assistant would suddenly cackle without request

Not funny: The Amazon Echo was mistakenly hearing the command ‘Alexa, laugh’. Photograph: Bloomberg

Not funny: The Amazon Echo was mistakenly hearing the command ‘Alexa, laugh’. Photograph: Bloomberg

 

Amazon has released an update to fix an issue that prompted Alexa, its virtual assistant, to laugh unprompted.

Users have recently fretted and complained that Alexa would suddenly laugh without any prompt from a human.

A spokesman for Amazon said on Thursday that “in rare circumstances, Alexa can mistakenly hear the phrase ‘Alexa, laugh’”.

To resolve the issue, the company has disabled the short utterance “Alexa, laugh” and changed the verbal prompt needed to elicit a laugh to “Alexa, can you laugh?”

The new verbal command is less likely to have “false positives”, according to Amazon.

Amazon has also said Alexa will now respond by saying “Sure, I can laugh” before laughing.

Alexa, which is delivered through an Amazon Echo device, is growing in popularity in the Irish market, where it has been available since January. Users activate the assistant by calling her name – known as the wake word – and issuing a command.

– Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2018