Amazon Knows Why Alexa Was Laughing at Its Customers - The New York Times
“In rare circumstances, Alexa can mistakenly hear the phrase ‘Alexa, laugh,’” when other words are spoken, Amazon said in an emailed statement. “We are changing that phrase to be ‘Alexa, can you laugh?’ which is less likely to have false positives, and we are disabling the short utterance ‘Alexa, laugh.’”
The episode underscored the concerns swirling around Echo and other smart speakers, like Google Home, which often sit in intimate spaces, awaiting a call to action.
Critics have argued that the always-on devices pose a threat to privacy and security. There have been reports of children ordering items through the devices without parental consent, and last year Burger King took advantage of the devices by incorporating a command into a commercial.
Despite those concerns, the technology has been widely embraced. Reports vary on just how many Americans use such devices, but all suggest that adoption is relatively high.
On Tuesday, for example, the polling organization Gallup and Northeastern University reported that about one in five American adults use an intelligent home device such as Alexa, Google Home or other competing devices.