By: Philip | 03-08-2018 | News
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Amazon Alexa's Creepy Laughter Bug Ignites Conspiracy Theories

It's a bug, Amazon says, and they're working on it. A creepy laugh has been popping up in thousands of Alexas. One explanation from Amazon is that it's being triggered by people inadvertently ordering it to by saying something similar to "Alexa, laugh." The question then would be why this issue is cropping up on thousands of devices just now, of course. And why such a creepy, laugh. Why one that sounds like a literal witch or maniac? One Reddit user at /r/conspiracy points out that there are 3 or 4 laughs and it just happened to be the creepiest one. Well, once again, why always only the creepiest one and why just recently. Another /r/conspiracy poster countered with, "I asked my Alexa to laugh earlier today and she went TEE HEE. I just did it again and she glowed blue and turned off." One /r/conspiracy user pointed out that the laugh sounded quite a bit like Hillary Clinton. Several commenters at the subreddit laughed at the theory, but even Jimmy Kimmel made the same observation on his late night show.

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Reddit users aren't the only ones minimizing the issue. It's all through the press and throughout social media, but the explanation from Amazon is as stale as <a href="">Facebook's response to the pedophilia poll</a> they recently released. Occam's razor types chalked it up to buggy programming:

<blockquote>Something got mixed up in the code, not a code writer myself but just missing something as simple as a ) or a ; in millions of lines of code can have a huge effect on the overall product. Small testing done as QC doesn't even begin to touch on the millions of real-life test subjects. Most likely something got shifted in the code last minute, something got corrupted on a software update that was shipped out, or someone seriously messed up.</blockquote>

While others posited the possibility of self-aware AI, Cern, demons, and alien portals, but the more likely (and certainly more plausible) explanation is that either hacker have gained access to the Alexa network or that Amazon or the <a href="">CIA (one of Amazon's major funders)</a> is either playing a prank and/or doing some "novel" guerilla marketing for the guaranteed free publicity through Twitter, television, online news sources and social media.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Alexa needs a hug.<a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Black Mirror (@blackmirror) <a href="">March 7, 2018</a></blockquote>

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More evidence that could support that theory, just last week, <a href="">Digital Trends reported</a> "what appeared to be a real-life version of Amazon’s funny Super Bowl commercial in which Alexa loses her voice."

Alexa has other odd bugs that have been reported. Shutting off if you ask if the CIA is listening for example. Then there are the conspiracy theories that the Alexa network is spying on everyone and plugged into the Smart Cities algorithms that rely on data mining and analytics plugged into predictive programming software in quantum computers. Then there's the drop-in mode that allows you to "drop in" and make a video call (or simple surveillance if you keep quiet) on other Alexa users' units. There are plenty of conspiracy theories about how Facebook uses information from private messages to send to their advertisers. I've even seen streaming sites start advertising a movie or show mentioned near a smartphone connected to a desktop with no microphone so the network does seem to be talking amongst itself.

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Twitter: #conspiracy #ai #surveillance #alexa

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