Alexa's Random, Creepy Laughter Is Freaking Out Echo Users

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After purchasing an Amazon Alexa-enabled device, you may have found yourself saying the wake word "Alexa" more times in a given day than you're comfortable with.

The basic idea is simple, and a little bit obvious in hindsight.

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Thankfully, Amazon has realized this issue and introduced a new feature called Follow-Up Mode, which makes Alexa listen for a couple of seconds after she has finished speaking. If the device is ready for a follow-up question, the blue indicator light will flash, thereby indicating to the user that he/she can ask the next question. "She didn't even say anything, just laughed". If you don't, she'll just go back to sleep automatically without saying anything else.

Meanwhile, Amazon also explained that the random laughs might have been caused by coincidental phrases that Alexa hears and processes as commands. You can't, for instance, say "Alexa, turn off the lights and set the thermostat to 68". So, if you see the blue ring at the top of your device, you know Alexa is still listening. This means that the user will have to clearly issue the command because if they don't, Alexa probably won't separate it from the background noise. If you say nothing, it will soon go off to show she's stopped listening.

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To enable Follow-up Mode on your Alexa device, open the Alexa app and head to the settings.

You can use Alexa calling on tablets to phone landline numbers, providing they're connected to an Amazon Echo Connect accessory hub, and you can call anyone in your contacts list for free, just as long as they also have the Alexa app installed on their smartphone or tablet. It also won't activate while you're listening to music, streaming an audiobook or making an Alexa call.

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