After reading a story about people’s Amazon Echo devices laughing at them at random, I’m really glad I didn’t get one for my grandma. That would have scared the heck out of her, understandably!
Seriously. Sometimes out of the blue, or in the middle of a conversation that has not included the word “Alexa”, or after being given a command, some Amazon Echos have decided that the last spoken phrase was a real knee-slapper. Here’s a recording of one of them laughing. Of course, the recording was created by the person triggering her to laugh, so it isn’t as freaky as if a random laugh had been captured, but still.
I can’t decide what I would find more creepy. Having it randomly laugh out of the blue would be weird and startling, and be a definite reminder of how it is listening all the time. But I can’t say I wouldn’t get the chills at the idea of it laughing in response to a command as if she has decided that the idea of her doing such a thing is hilarious. Sure, one part of my mind would say that she just misunderstood my command, but there would be another part that would have this urge to call her Hal.
It is a freaky idea that these speakers can’t do anything on their own, and all their updates are handled on some server somewhere. Nope, I still don’t want one.