Amazon have promised an update for its digital personal assistant Alexa, after widespread reports that the software has been letting out unprompted and so-called ‘creepy’ laughter.
Though many Amazon Echo owners have been shaken by this disturbing glitch, it isn’t the first time Alexa has acted up. Since the software’s release in 2014, users have reported many strange and sometimes unsettling incidents involving Amazon Alexa – here are just a few of the most bizarre.
Three months ago, one Reddit user wrote that during a game of 20 Questions with Amazon Alexa (a skill the assistant comes programmed with), Alexa guessed the answer as ‘Basenji’.
The correct answer was ‘pig’. Unnervingly, the man owns a Basenji, which is an unusual breed of dog that does not bark. The poster and his wife had previously purchased BasenjI-themed items from Amazon, leading the couple to think that Alexa had either learned this word from their Amazon account, or had been listening in to their conversations.
Alexa the mediator
Another poster on Reddit remembered being interrupted by Alexa during a heated argument with his wife a couple of years ago. The personal assistant reportedly piped up with, “Why don’t we change the subject?” When the startled couple looked back in the app’s logs, they could find no record of the interjection.
Finding a final resting place
One Alexa owner took to Twitter to share that after their Amazon Echo device recently started talking unprompted, they soon realised she was listing local cemeteries and undertakers.
Someone else on Reddit gave their insomniac mother-in-law an Echo Dot for Christmas. While up late watching TV one evening, the recipient unexpectedly heard Alexa say, “Good night, Clarice.” As you may have already guest, the woman was not called Clarice.
Your virtual pet
According to one Reddit user, their Alexa joined in after overhearing her owner and their cat miaowing at each other.