Paranormal … Alexa - Amazon's digital assistant laughs and spreads fear to its users!

Eloise Marshall
March 12, 2018

If you have an Amazon Echo, or any virtual assistant for that matter, it can be a bit of a pain to keep summoning the miniature AI with the wake-up command.

The basic idea is simple, and obvious in hindsight. If the device is ready for a follow-up question, the blue indicator light will flash, thereby indicating to the user that he/she can ask the next question.

The first cases were reported in "smart" loudspeakers that feature Alexa (which is on various devices) and from which the robotic laughs came out without cause, which in some users were reminiscent of a witch ... witch. With Follow-up Mode, Alexa will listen for five seconds after she's done responding to you to see if you have anything else to ask. As usual, saying "stop", "cancel" or "go to sleep" will stop Alexa from listening.

Thankfully Amazon's made some changes, and it should cut down the number of times you have to refer to Alexa by name when shouting out multiple commands. The company suggested in an email that the laughs had occurred "in rare circumstances" because the speaker was picking up a "false positive" for the command "Alexa, laugh".

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Alexa is Amazon's artificially-intelligent smart assistant platform used in its Echo products and other compatible hardware. This was the same reason why one of Amazon's solutions was to scrap the "Alexa, laugh" prompt and replace it with the more specific "Alexa, can you laugh?" phrase. If you say nothing, it will soon go off to show she's stopped listening.

To enable Follow-up Mode on your Alexa device, open the Alexa app and head to the settings.

Scroll down to Follow-Up Mode and use the toggle to turn it on. It also won't activate while you're listening to music, streaming an audiobook or making an Alexa call. Just make sure you have the latest Alexa app installed, have it synced with your contacts and you can then ask Alexa to call or send messages to friends and family, or drop in with any Echo device you have in your contacts.

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