9 Times Your Smart Speaker Got Weird

first_imgLet us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on target Smart speakers have been the new *thing* for a couple of years now. ABle to play your favorite music or audio book, or simply give you weather updates with a vocal prompt, they’re marketed as a bit of luxury convenience tech. No one really needs them, but they’re cool and nice to have around, y’know?So with that said, it’s a wonder why anyone really takes these things in given their potential creep factor. And we have almost a dozen instances of Alexa interactions that’d make us go “NOPE!”TriggeredOne Alexa in Portland, Oregon shared private family conversations to a friend in Seattle due to an “unlikely” accident, according to Amazon. The incident occurred because the device interpreted a background word as its “name,” and then proceeded to make a series of mistakes, interpreting random words just right so that it recorded a message and sent that to someone else.Obviously, voice recording tech isn’t perfect, but it’s remarkable that something so apparently remote would happen all by accident. Not impossible, but man. Damn.The Last Laugh Twitter user @anniebonannieTN had an eerie interaction in a dark kitchen. Without prompt, Alexa began laughing. They were understandably freaked out.Nothing is SecretIn another recording incident, a blogger discovered that his Google Home Mini was surreptitiously uploading his conversations to Google. The incident has been used to highlight the inherent dangers in inviting tech companies that make their money on our data, to produce devices that have these capabilities — especially given how bad we already know privacy to be on most smartphones. Creepy Chuckles During a separate Alexa-laughing incident, Tal Goldfus heard his Echo Dot randomly begin laughing in the middle of a conversation — as if chuckling at a clever joke.  You Are Not AloneIn one instance, Alexa began talking to herself while completely alone in the room. The incident was preceded by a massive technical outage for the service in general, so perhaps it was a technical glitch… or maybe Alexa sees dead people. Or maybe both. The Sixth Sense “Every time I close my eyes, all I see is people dying,” one Echo speaker told its owner. What was particularly bizarre is that when he asked her to repeat the phrase, she didn’t understand.My TurnAccording to one Reddit user, Alexa wanted to change the subject during a particularly heated spousal argument — as if it wanted to end the conflict — and he later said there was nothing in the chat logs.Late Night Jokes During another incident, this time on Jimmy Kimmel, he asked Alexa about the issue of the Echo line laughing at weird times, and she just bursts into a maniacal cackle. Even though it’s obviously for a joke, the timing is weirdly unsettling. And it’s hard to imagine anything working quite so well.Amazon has since acknowledged that the laughter was a known issue and issue patches for its devices.Robo-HannibalAnother Reddit user’s mother-in-law got wigged out when her Echo Dot said “Good night, Clarice,” a la Silence of the Lambs. As they flatly pointed out, “My mother-in-law’s name isn’t Clarice.”Look, I don’t know anyone who thought having an internet-connected speaker system in your house would go off without some creepy stuff going down. We are, at this point, begging for robots to torment us in our own homes. This is the hell we bring on ourselves. But, if you’ve got an Alexa, and you think it’s got a little “KIll all humans” in its voice, rest assured, you’re not alone.For more on Amazon revisit the weirdest deals from this year’s Prime Day and think about the future where Amazon moon shipments are possible. Preorder all the new Alexa devices here.last_img read more

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