‘There’s a good chance I get murdered tonight’: Terrified Amazon Echo users reveal Alexa has been emitting ‘bone chilling’ laughs at random and is ignoring their commands

By Annie Palmer For Dailymail.com

 

  • Users say their Alexa-enabled devices won’t stop laughing at random times 
  • One user said they were sleeping and an Amazon Echo Dot laughed unprompted
  • Alexa is programmed in many voice-activated devices with a preset laugh 
  • Amazon has yet to respond to inquiries trying to get to the bottom of the issue 

 

There are plenty of stories of artificial intelligence gone wrong.

But recent reports from owners of Amazon Alexa devices are being called ‘bone chillingly creepy.’

Some users say their Alexa-enabled gadgets start laughing totally unprompted.

Some owners of Alexa-enabled devices like the Echo (pictured, file photo) say their gadgets are randomly laughing. Alexa is programmed to laugh at jokes, but doesn't typically giggle at random times

Some owners of Alexa-enabled devices like the Echo (pictured, file photo) say their gadgets are randomly laughing. Alexa is programmed to laugh at jokes, but doesn’t typically giggle at random times

One user reportedly tried to turn the lights off in their home but Alexa repeatedly turned the lights back on, eventually uttering an ‘evil laugh,’ according to BuzzFeed.

Another Echo Dot owner said they told Alexa to turn off their alarm in the morning and she responded by letting out a ‘witch-like’ laugh.

Alexa is programmed in many voice-activated devices with a preset laugh, which can be prompted by asking: ‘Alexa, how do you laugh?’

But so far, it’s unclear why Alexa is laughing even when users don’t ask her to.

Amazon has yet to respond to inquiries requesting more information about the error, BuzzFeed said.

For now, more and more users say they’re sleeping with one eye open next to their Alexa-enabled devices.

As if that wasn’t bizarre enough, Amazon also has a ‘Laugh Box’ skill, which lets users play different types of laughter, such as a ‘baby laugh’ or a ‘sinister laugh.’

It’s been reported on several occasions that Alexa-enabled devices can be triggered by ambient noises or sounds that go off in the same room, such as commercials.

Last month, an Echo owner complained that a commercial had a man asking Alexa to order him some cat food.

The command prompted his Echo to order him cat food, which he clearly didn’t want.

The Echo works by constantly listening for the ‘wake word’ – either ‘Alexa’ or ‘Amazon’ by default – and then records your voice and transfers it to a processor for analysis so that it can fulfil requests or answer questions.


CAN AI DEVELOP A LANGUAGE OF ITS OWN?

Amazon isn’t the only tech giant whose artificial intelligence has developed a mind of its own.

Last July, Facebook shut down a controversial chatbot experiment after the two AIs developed their own language to talk to each other.

The social media platform was experimenting with teaching two chatbots, Alice and Bob, how to negotiate with one another.

But the researchers discovered that the bots had deviated from the script and were inventing new phrases without any human input.

As part of the learning process they set up two bots, known as a dialog agents, to teach each other about human speech using machine learning algorithms.

The bots were originally left alone to develop their conversational skills.

Like Amazon, Facebook has encountered some creepy errors with its AI tech. Last year, the social media giant's chatbots Alice and Bob were left alone as part of an experiment by researchers. When they returned, the bots had developed their own language

Like Amazon, Facebook has encountered some creepy errors with its AI tech. Last year, the social media giant’s chatbots Alice and Bob were left alone as part of an experiment by researchers. When they returned, the bots had developed their own language

When the experimenters returned, they found that the AI software had begun to deviate from normal speech.

Instead, they were using a brand new language created without any input from their human supervisors.

Below is part of a transcript of the Facebook bots conversation:

Bob: i can i i everything else . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Alice: balls have zero to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to

Bob: you i everything else . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Alice: balls have a ball to me to me to me to me to me to me to me

Bob: i i can i i i everything else . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Alice: balls have a ball to me to me to me to me to me to me to me

Bob: i . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Alice: balls have zero to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to


It can be used for a wide range of tasks, including ordering groceries or a takeaway online, giving a weather report, ordering an Uber taxi, announcing the latest football scores and playing music or podcasts.

It’s also not unheard of to have people talk to users through their Echo devices.

Last June, Amazon rolled out a new feature called Drop In, which allows specified users to talk to you through your Echo.

For users who own multiple Echo devices, the Drop In feature enables them to use it as intercom system.

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