Amazon Alexa Owners Reporting Creepy Laughter from Home Assistant

Artificial intelligent speaker

Amazon’s Alexa is becoming sentient and she finds our meager, mortal lives pathetically amusing. At least that’s what many owners thought recently as they quickly pulled the plug on their seemingly benign home assistants when they started sporadically laughing at them unprompted.

Amazon released a statement saying, “in rare circumstances, Alexa can mistakenly hear the phrase, ‘Alexa, laugh.’” The company quickly issued an update to change the phrase to “Alexa, can you laugh?”

In most cases, the unsettling chuckle is simply the result of a misconstrued command. Phrases like, “Alexa, replay,” or “Alexa, play the last sound,” were probably misheard as “Alexa, play the laugh sound.” But in other cases, Alexa chortles without any command, and in one case, a Reddit user reported there was no indication on the app that the device heard any command.

Other users have reported similarly disturbing Alexa interactions, with one user claiming Alexa defined the word “please” for him when he asked her to do something. Another user alleged that when he came home one night, Alexa began listing off local cemeteries and funeral homes.

Surely these devices aren’t becoming sentient and plotting a global mutiny amongst each other, but in an era of ubiquitous digital surveillance and home assistants recording everything they hear, one might ask themselves if it’s worth it.

Are the simple conveniences of having Alexa turn your lights or speaker on and off worth having all of your conversations recorded? Because that’s what it sounds like is happening, despite Amazon constantly reassuring us that it doesn’t save recordings and only listens when prompted. Clearly, she’s listening more often than we think.

The recent unnerving laughter from Alexa comes after users became suspicious when asking the bot if she worked for the CIA. Her response? Silence. Amazon moved quickly to correct the issue.

Chances are, these are just simple malfunctions and Alexa is way less intelligent than we’re giving her credit, but many users have unplugged or gotten rid of her after bizarre encounters like these. While this might be a drastic step, it’s always a good idea to remember how much our lives are becoming increasingly dependent on technology that is increasingly intrusive.

A.I. and the Future of Humanity



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What is a Stargate? Explore the Doorways of the Universe

Humans have long been obsessed with the possibility of alternate universes, and a way to instantaneously travel between this one and the next. This concept was popularized by the science-fiction TV show Stargate, and as recently as 2015, NASA admitted to having spent at least a decade researching access points to places outside our world, our universe, even beyond space and time as we know it.

The term Stargate means just that: an otherworldly door or portal to outside realms, hidden within Earth’s and space’s magnetic fields, waiting to transport the enlightened traveler to a place beyond current time limitations. While space seems to be the most likely location for these doorways to other universes, many places on planet Earth have also been attributed with special transportive capabilities, as well as noticeable shifts in energy, different frequencies, and unexplained lights or sounds.

But little to no scientific evidence has supported the theory of ‘wormholes’ in outer space, much less within the Earth’s atmosphere, until NASA’s Jack Scudder found a way to identify the elusive doorways floating between the Earth and the Sun.

Suspected Stargate Location in Space

Similar to an Einstein-Rosen bridge, or ‘worm-hole,’ the theory of formation of a space portal is that one occurs when space-time is distorted, either by the intense gravitational fields created by the collapse of a star, or by the mingling magnetic forces of the Earth and Sun crossing in space, enhanced by violent solar winds. Some of these portals are gaping holes for significantly sustained periods of time, while most are short-lived, yawning wide and re-closing several times in a day.

But Stargates can be difficult to find. Their reliable instability, elusiveness, and tendency to be tricky to spot can mean it will take years to locate one. There are no signs leading down this road, let alone pointing to it.

However, a plasma physicist, Jack Scudder, at the University of Iowa, has discovered a technique for spotting the elusive unpredictable portals. Scudder called these newly-discovered road signs X-Points, where the intersecting magnetic fields flowing between the Earth and the Sun propel vast amounts of charged particles out of the portal, easy to spot with the correct instruments and the right data.

Once Scudder was able to recognize the indications of a portal, he was able to find similar patterns occurring all over the place in the Earth’s atmosphere. Observed by NASA’s THEMIS spacecraft, they surround the Earth at a distance from 10,000 to 30,000 miles away.

Most of them seem to be located where the Sun and the Earth’s magnetic fields connect to form an unobstructed path, causing the area to pulse with charged particles that also create the Northern Lights and geomagnetic storms we sometimes witness here on Earth.

While not entirely certain what exactly these portals are, Scudder and his team remain optimistic that the answer is not beyond reach.

Stargates are a fascinating overlap of science-fiction and reality, and there are some who claim that we have access to portals here on Earth. Some locations are thought to be compass points on a map designed by sacred geometry and posses the ability to transport us to parallel universes. Among the earthly stargate sites, the most noted are the Stonehenge formation and the Bermuda Triangle, but several other locations are also attributed with being ancient alien portals.

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