Alexa, can you not?
We get it— technology can be scary.
Even as it becomes more omnipresent for the simplest of tasks in our daily lives, technology continues to frighten some people, much as it has since the early days of science-fiction featuring AI gone wrong (think Metropolis, 2001: A Space Odyssey, or The Terminator).
If you distrust artificial intelligence, you might be especially wary of the growing trend of tech in the home: tiny devices controlling your lighting, heating, even the locks on your doors, not to mention intelligent personal assistants hearing and ‘watching’ your every move.
Over the past two weeks, dozens of reports of the Amazon Echo’s Alexa spontaneously laughing (often in the middle of the night) have taken the internet by storm, so we wondered, what is the creepiest thing people have witnessed their Alexa say or do?
Jokes From Beyond
About a week after my dad died in Oct 2016, mom and I were standing in her living room talking to someone. Mid sentence, Alexa pipes in with “How do you make a Kleenex dance? You put a little boogie in it!”. There were definitely no prompts or anything that even sounded like it. We even looked it up later in the app and I can’t remember what it said but basically there was no record of a prompt. Figure it was my dad dropping a dad joke on us, man he was in love with Alexa. (ProllyNotYou)
Alexa, Marriage Counselor
Wife and I were arguing about something. No clue what it was, but it was getting a little heated. I don’t know what Alexa thought she heard, but she suddenly interjected with, “Why don’t we change the subject?” It was just unexpected and relevant enough to be creepy. We both heard it, and we both still talk about it years later. There was nothing in the app logs. (meatmacho)
I was trying to turn off some lights and they kept turning back on. After the third request, Alexa stopped responding and instead did an evil laugh. The laugh wasn’t in the Alexa voice. It sounded like a real person. My wife was there when it happened and she is the only person who can drop-in. I still get chills. (Purplociraptor)