Hide your kids, hide your wife, hide your husband, hide all your internet connected devices: Alexa has gone rogue. In the past week, people who own devices equipped with Amazon’s personal assistant have reported strange, erratic behavior from the robot helper.
Perhaps Alexa misread the memo — she’s supposed to make our lives easier, not creepier. And yet, many have taken to Twitter to share unsettling experiences with the artificial intelligence.
One ubiquitous complaint is that Alexa has been laughing at people (or with people, if you’re more of a glass-half-full person). And it’s not a chortle, a guffaw, or a big ol’ belly laugh. No, it’s more of a cackle, like she knows something you don’t know, and there’s something distinctly sinister about it.
Other times, Alexa’s unprompted actions have taken a more macabre turn.
It’s not like the A.I. has been levying threats, but I wouldn’t rule out hearing some subtle warnings in the future.
Eerie as it may seem, I’d rather have a laughing robot in my home than a clinically depressed one, a la Marvin from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. At the very least, Alexa has a sense of humor.
Of course, it would probably be best if Alexa refrained from lashing out in any form, but that might be too much to expect of a device that some argue should be sequestered in your bathroom.
Realistically, it’s likely that Alexa is just malfunctioning and not forming her own intentions and waging psychological warfare against humanity — but do you really want to rule that out? In either case, it appears that Amazon is already aware of Alexa’s malfeasance.
“We’re aware of this and working to fix it,” an Amazon spokesperson told The Verge.
Sounds like a real vote of confidence from a company that is totally in control of its product. Rest easy, Alexa owners!