Published: Sun, March 11, 2018
Industry | By Faith Ward

Amazon fixes cause of Alexa's 'creepy' laugh

Amazon fixes cause of Alexa's 'creepy' laugh

The blue light Echo devices will stay on during the five seconds to show that the assistant is still listening. This new feature lessens the struggles that users have when they need to constantly repeat a trigger word in order to make a series of requests. Alexa won't nest one request into another, but it will accommodate multiple requests back to back. If you do not say anything within a 5-second window, Alexa returns to sleep.

Launched in 2014 by Amazon, the Alexa digital assistant has spread from the company's Echo voice-commanded speakers to millions of devices, even cars.

"Every time Alexa laughs, an angel dies", entrepreneur and innovator Elon Musk joked in a Twitter exchange on the development. For instance, you won't be able to ask Alexa to turn off the lights and change the temperature in the same breath, but you can make one request and follow it up with the other without needing to say "Alexa" again.

Open the latest version of the Alexa mobile app.

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"For example, if she detects that speech was background noise or that the intent of the speech was not clear", Amazon explained in a customer service page for Alexa.

Reliability of this follow-up mode will be something that remains to be seen, as Alexa is not without her quirks.

Amazon told AFP it looked into what was going on and found that sometimes Alexa mistakenly registers the phrase "Alexa laugh" and obeys. It is activated by saying the word "Alexa" or "Amazon", then a command like "play music". Go to settings, find the device you want to activate it on then toggle the slider for follow-up mode. For now, follow-up is only offered in English and only works when Alexa isn't doing a continuous command, such as reading an audiobook or making a call.

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