As many people were terrified to find out, Amazon's Alexa can laugh and she's been laughing for no good reason. While Amazon has already said it's working on a fix for the problem, it's revealed exactly what's causing the virtual assistant to fire out that creepy laugh.
According to GeekWire an Amazon spokesperson has offered a short explanation about why it's been happening. Apparently Alexa has been hearing things incorrectly, and they have been misinterpreted as someone asking her to laugh. Being the noble and loyal house companion that she is, Alexa complied and sent out the creepy burst of laughter that's freaked out so many Echo and Alexa-enabled devices.
“In rare circumstances, Alexa can mistakenly hear the phrase ‘Alexa, laugh. We are changing that phrase to be ‘Alexa, can you laugh?’ which is less likely to have false positives, and we are disabling the short utterance ‘Alexa, laugh.’” In addition to this, Amazon also adds, “We are also changing Alexa’s response from simply laughter to ‘Sure, I can laugh’ followed by laughter.”
It doesn't explain why some people have noticed the Echo's blue ring doesn't light up when Alexa laughs, nor that she doesn't make the usual chime sound that indicates she actually heard what you said. I suppose that's all part of the bug, and Amazon will make sure Alexa doesn't skip those important things. But as they say, knowing is half the battle. Now that Amazon knows what's causing Alexa to laugh for no good reason, it can focus on making sure it doesn't happen again. [GeekWire via Ubergizmo]