Was Hillary Behind Alexa’s Outbursts?

Jimmy Kimmel comedy bit points to the former first lady
Robots taking over

Hillary Clinton conspiracy theorists now have some fresh grist for the cray-cray mill: a bit on last night’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” suggests that the former Secretary of State and presidential contender may be connected to a rash of creepy cackling emitted by Amazon Alexa.

By way of background, Echo and other Alexa users have been reporting spontaneous outbursts of witch-like laughter and random, impromptu comments from the virtual assistant. Creeped out customers took to social media with their encounters:

The incidents tend to confirm a recent account by New York Times columnist Farhad Manjoo of his Echo Dot scaring the bejesus out of him and his wife after letting loose with an unprovoked, child-like scream.

The reports follow an AWS (Amazon Web Services) outage last week that, in a real-life replay of Amazon’s Super Bowl commercial, rendered Alexa speechless across wide swaths of the country for several hours.

See: Cat’s Got Alexa’s Tongue, For Real

Amazon attributed the outbursts to Alexa perceiving “false positive” commands to chortle, and disabled the phrase “Alexa, laugh.”

But that hasn’t stopped speculation that mankind’s time is up, or that the ghost in the machine was Clinton.


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