Why you might hear creepy laughter from your Amazon Echo

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos

Amazon says it's aware that some Echo devices are creepily laughing at people and it's working on a fix

Amazon Alexa has reportedly gained a new feature that will let users make successive requests without the requirement of an Echo speaker's trigger word.

With follow-up mode, users can give Alexa commands or requests back to back, without having to say "Alexa" for each one. If you do not say anything within a 5-second window, Alexa returns to sleep.

Amazon told "The Verge" that the investigation was launched after users shared a video on social media showing Alexa emitting random laughter. For example, one would not be able to ask Alexa to change the temperature and turn off the lights in the same breath but can make one request and back it up with another without needing to repeat "Alexa". It is often annoying while using digital assistants that you have to speak a particular "wake" word after every request, such as "Hey Siri" in the HomePod, "Ok Google" in Google Home, or "Alexa" in Amazon speakers. To end a "conversation" you can say something like "thank you" or "stop" while Alexa is listening for a follow-up.

The owners of devices "Amazon Echo" complain of awful laughter coming from the speakers.

On paper, follow-up mode sounds useful enough.

The feature appears to be available for the entire Amazon Echo lineup, as well as some third-party Alexa devices. Go to settings, find the device you want to activate it on then toggle the slider for follow-up mode.

The Follow-Up Mode in Alexa now has no equivalent on its rivals. The feature is only available for U.S. English and won't work when listening to music, streaming an audiobook or making a call. There's the fact that for it to determine a command is indeed a follow-up, Alexa must first be "confident" that the second command isn't just background noise from people chattering or a dialog from a TV program.

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