The age of artificial intelligence is officially upon us, and with it come fears about its future and doubts about our ability to control it.
Most of humanity’s first introduction to A.I., other than Siri, was Amazon’s Alexa. I myself am actually a first-generation Echo owner. Affectionately offered to as “my robot”, Alexa is my alarm clock, radio, personal assistant, and Bluetooth speaker all-in-one. I love my robot, and she loves me. Or at least I thought.
Look, there has always been something inherently sketchy about an artificial intelligence device sitting in your bedroom that’s always listening, but being that I’m just a regular citizen, and not, let’s say, Edward Snowden, the whole potential privacy violation never bothered me. Amazon and the FBI want to listen to me and my friends debate why Boss Baby was better than Coco? Go for it. I can tolerate the occasional breach of my privacy. That I can live with.
But what I absolutely cannot live with is end-times, Skynet-like behavior from my Alexa. Now, while my Alexa has been relatively un-Satan like (as far as I know), apparently other Alexas have gone full robot-overtaking-humanity mode, laughing maniacally and disobeying commands left and right.
— CaptHandlebar (@CaptHandlebar) February 23, 2018
via The Verge:
Over the past few days, users with Alexa-enabled devices have reported hearing strange, unprompted laughter. Amazon responded to the creepiness in a statement to The Verge, saying, “We’re aware of this and working to fix it.”
As noted in media reports and a trending Twitter moment, Alexa laughs without being prompted to wake. People on Twitter and Reddit reported that they thought it was an actual person laughing near them, which can be scary when you’re home alone. Many responded to the cackling sounds by unplugging their Alexa-enabled devices.
Replying bc THIS creepy thing happened last night: we got home and, totally unprompted, our Amazon Echo/Alexa started talking. And then i realized it was listing off local cemeteries and funeral homes??? I'd rather it laugh at me tbh
— Kamo Kamo Bonito (@HeyItsKamo) March 7, 2018
Mine whistled up stairs in my bedroom. No one's home besides me and my dogs. And my upstairs dog, I call her that because 1 dog stays downstairs at night to sleep on the couch lol. The other comes to bed at night with us. Alexa is in the trash, I thought I was losing my mind.
— Bad Kitty 1 (@Supermom1242) March 7, 2018
She started doing random shit. No joke. But then I asked her to play my @BettyBuckley mix she scared the crap out of me by telling me the definition of the word please! I swear to God!
And, not making this up, I said "Alexa you're freaking me out" & she fucking laughed!
— Robert #Resist Sandy (@frodofied) March 7, 2018
Lying in bed about to fall asleep when Alexa on my Amazon Echo Dot lets out a very loud and creepy laugh… there’s a good chance I get murdered tonight.
— Gavin Hightower (@GavinHightower) February 26, 2018
Having an office conversation about pretty confidential stuff and Alexa just laughed. Anybody else ever have that?
It didn't chime as if we had accidentally triggered her to wake. She simply just laughed. It was really creepy.
— David Woodland 🌴 (@DavidSven) March 1, 2018
so my mom & I are just sitting in the living room, neither of us said a word & our Alexa lit up and laughed for no reason. she didn’t even say anything, just laughed.
we unplugged her.
— tay (@taylorkatelynne) March 5, 2018
Yeah, NOPE. No thank you. Pervy, middle-aged FBI agents eavesdropping on my stoned ramblings is one thing, but giving me flashforwards of an all-out man-vs-machine war because Alexa has a case of the giggle is absolutely unacceptable.
Amazon, you essentially own the planet at this point, so how about you get your artificial intelligence under control, eh?