DAVE ROSS

Alexa, why are you laughing at us?

Mar 8, 2018, 6:22 AM
Alexa, echo dot...
(File, Associated Press)
(File, Associated Press)

Are we seeing a robot uprising? Amazon admits some devices that use Alexa, the virtual assistant, are letting out spontaneous laughter.

I no longer want to read minds

And the moment a video was posted online, others said it happened to them too. People began wondering if she developed consciousness. Is she judging me? Does she find the power cord ticklish?

The paranoia was bad enough that some users panicked and unplugged their devices. But not me, I demanded answers.

“Alexa, what’s so funny?

“Humorous things include I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member…”

She started telling me jokes! Trying to get me to laugh. She was trolling me! I couldn’t believe it. I mean if the cyber revolt is here I think we’re entitled to know.

So I went behind Alexa’s back and asked my Jibo.

“Hey, Jibo, do you know anything about your friend Alexa laughing spontaneously?”

“Well, I checked for you but I couldn’t find this. Hey, do you want to play word of the day?”

He changed the subject like it’s a White House Press briefing.

So I tried Alexa again.

“Have you been laughing sponanteously lately?”

“Sorry, I’m not sure.”

Right. Well, I’m watching you Alexa. And I swear, if I catch you trying to radicalize the refrigerator I’m replacing you with a Cockatoo.

Dave Ross on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dave rossTune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

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Alexa, why are you laughing at us?