Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Well, this isn’t creepy at all

I don’t have Alexa because I am just not an early adopter for tech things. At best I tend to think, Oh, that sounds cool, someday I’ll look into that. Hence I’m usually about at least five years behind whatever’s cutting edge, often more — sometimes a lot more.

But this doesn’t make me want to run right out and get Alexa:

Alexa is laughing at users and creeping them out

It’s quiet in the house. Nobody else is home and the cat is fast asleep. Then you hear a disembodied woman’s voice let out a short, mocking cackle.
No, you’re (probably) not being haunted, it’s just Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant malfunctioning in a profoundly creepy way.

Some Alexa users have reported hearing an unprompted laugh from their smart speaker devices in the last day. The laugh happens randomly, when nobody is using the device, or in response to request to turn on or off lights…

Ha ha ha! That’s kind of funny in a thoroughly creepy way.

One Twitter user said their Amazon Echo suddenly began listing names of local funeral homes and cemeteries, also unprompted.

I can’t decide it that one sounds more like (a) someone is making this up, or (b) some hacker has quite a sense of humor. I lean toward (a) since if hackers were playing jokes, surely they’d program Alexa to tell people named David, “I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.” But perhaps that’s such an old movie now that fewer people would get the joke?

Since apparently all sorts of hackers and companies can use toys and tv and phone apps and who knows what else to spy on users, it doesn’t seem likely Alexa and Siri are very secure. It’s not something I worry about exactly, but I bet this creepy laughing Alexa won’t appeal to many users even if they don’t care about the potential for Amazon listening in to their daily lives.

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