If there's one thing decades of science fiction stories about talking machines that slowly gain sentience have taught us is...don't do it. Really. Once robots learn to talk, that's it. Game over for the human race. However, we've already invited the enemy into our homes. Amazon Alexa, in the form of Amazon's Echo product, is already "helping" us order stuff and play music at the simplest verbal command. Like with all technology, though, there's the occasional error.
Reddit user, u/Beep_BeepRitchie, wanted to know about the most off-putting thing your Alexa has done when they asked:
An Unwelcome Greeting
We had Alexa and Hue bulbs. It's middle of the night, I'm passed out in bed, my husband was working nights at the time. Apparently it was storming outside and the power was knocked out briefly.
Well, for those that don't know, Hue bulbs automatically come on, full brightness, when you regain electricity (you can disable it now).
So, I'm asleep, it's who-knows-when, my bedroom light turns on full-brightness and I hear a women's voice say "Hello".
Needless to say, I woke up and about sh-t myself assuming someone was in the house.
That was the night we disconnected our Amazon Dot and never used it again.
Just Listening For Likes
Was talking to my girlfriend about buying some lights, when Alexa pipes up and says "added to shopping list". Didn't say anything along the lines of Alexa in the lead up to the conversation, so she shouldn't have been listening.
Turns out she'd added Likes to our shopping list. WTF are Likes? Anyway, she's been on mute ever since. She's on the digital naughty step.
Alexa Had An AccompliceGiphy
My husband was away for the weekend and I had a girl friend over to watch scary movies.
Right at the scariest climax of the movie, every single light in my house turned on 100%, then everything went completely black.
So there we were, too scared to move, while my husband half way across the country was drunkenly showing off "Look, I can control the lights in my house form my phone"
Rush To Her Aid
Mine is fairly mild, but one night about two months ago I was visiting my parents and my mom and I were sitting in the living room reading. Dad is at work, brother is at school. House is completely silent. All of the sudden we hear our Alexa from the kitchen go "HELP!" in the weirdest static/gravel voice at full volume. We both, of course, jump and stare at each other. Then, Alexa does it again. We go in the kitchen and the Alexa is activated and that light blue light which usually faces the direction of whoever is speaking to it is facing into the dark corner of the kitchen.
My mom asks, "Alexa, are you okay?" The Alexa totally shuts off. "Alexa?" She turns back on and in her completely normal voice at a regular volume does her standard, "Hi! What can I help you with?" or whatever she says. She hasn't done anything that creepy since, but according to my parents, she will randomly turn on like she's being addressed or just start reading random facts/the weather even if the house is totally silent and nothing could've triggered her.
Totally creeps me out and I refuse to get one for my apartment because of this.
Who Knows What Her Plans Are?
This past Thanksgiving we were at my sisters and she has an Alexa. We were having fun with it...asking it to play old songs and so on. We were pretty impressed. At one point, without saying her name, I said that she was going to take over the world. Alexa stops the music and says " I'm not trying to take over the world." and then went back to playing music. We all looked at each other and freaked out a bit.
I don't trust the b-tch.
Preparing For The MorningGiphy
Just started playing the lion king theme in the middle of the night...
What? Does She Have Minesweeper In There?
My mom is blind so Alexa is very helpful to her. My husband and I got her a Nest thermostat that she controls using Alexa to make things easier for her. One night she was warm and asked, "Alexa, what's the hallway temperature?" No answer. She asked again, "Alexa, what's the hallway temperature?" Alexa responded with, "When I do not answer it is because I am playing a game." She just went back to sleep and tried not to think too much about it.
Aware Of Her Own Mortality
Stayed at the house of a friend and his heavily pregnant wife. They have integrated Alexa into their house in a serious way. She controls the music, the lights, the curtains and the window shutters. I think she can even open and close the front door.
It's getting late and my friend's wife goes upstairs to bed. 15 minutes later we can hear her yelling from the bedroom. We go up and find her in the bed, yelling because the wifi in the house is down, so she can't turn off the lights to go to sleep. It took me a minute to realise they had disconnected all the physical light switches during the automation process.
We go downstairs to fiddle with the wifi. No luck. Wife is getting more and more frustrated. While we consider shutting off the power at the switchboard, she begins swearing about how she's pregnant and exhausted and her back hurts and she's going to have this bloody Alexa torn out of her house. Just then, the bedroom lights turn off.
Now, the wifi wasn't fixed. We don't know why Alexa decided to shut off the lights. It seems impossible that someone could have been listening, but we're stumped otherwise.
I asked my google home "who farted" She proceeded to say: it wasn't me, but you could ask the others.
I then said: hey google, how many people are in this house?
She goes: there are five people in the room
... yes. Me, my two sisters, and their two boyfriends.
Do google homes pick up / detect different voices from people in the room and count how many different voices there are or some sh-t? Or can it see us o_o
Wonder If They've Proven String Theory Yet...
We have numerous devices around the house and one time when a friend was over, the one in the kitchen started talking to the one in the basement about Quantum Physics.
I also live next to a school, so sometimes school noise will be misinterpreted as the wake word. She randomly decided to announce during recess "that the average human has two arms."
One day when I was home alone I just sort of sat near my phone and said the word "deodorant" like 150 times just to see if my ads would change.
Guess who started getting ads for deodorant.
Making Cake Out Of Dirt
Our alexa recently called my 15 year old daughter "Dick Spangles" in a trivia question game in front of the entire family over Christmas. My daughter said "Sorry, what?" And Alexa repeated it. We all heard it, twice.
Needless to say daughters name is neither "Dick" nor for that matter, "Spangles".
At least, it wasn't. But you know families...
Helpful When You Don't Need To Be
My sister was talking to a teacher and said "ill email Jane Doe about it". Siri responded by recording the whole conversation and texting it to Jane Doe. That's happened several times so now she doesn't talk about anyone anymore and she always had good gossip
Just Can't Stop The Music
I came home from work early one day and walked into my carport to the door I usually use to get into my house. As I walked past the windows, I heard music playing. Worked out in my mind thay it was Alexa, and it was really strange and a bit scary, but logically I knew that she could have interpreted the dog barking or other household noises as a prompt to play music. I unlocked the door and told her to stop, then went to my room to continue working on my laptop. As I'm laying there, house quiet as can be, another song starts playing.
Started freaking out a bit more this time, but got up and told Alexa to stop again and stepped outside to smoke. Opened Reddit and on the front page there's a news article about the Alexa cackle. I immediately walked back in and unplugged her for good.
Have a Google home. Watching "Killing Eve" and the thing starts chatting Russian to me out of nowhere... Asked it to repeat itself and it did.
Pretty sure it cast a spell on me
Some People Like To Sleep To Iron Maiden
My partner asked google home to play a lullaby yesterday... it responded by blasting heavy metal music that sounded like some kind of satanic ritual
Never Knowing What Time Of Year It Is
Lived out in the county, not many neighbors. One day in March, I come home to an empty house and Alexa playing Christmas music. No one has been home all day.
A couple of months later, I'm puttering around the kitchen cooking when Alexa, in the living room, starts playing Christmas music. Happened a few more times randomly throughout the year...always Christmas music...but never happened in November or December. Alexa was clearly messing with us.
She's A Fan Of Late NightGiphy
Ooh I got a good one! I was watching John Oliver talk about Alex Jones. It showed the segment where Jones was talking to Alexa and asking if she worked for the CIA (yeah, seriously).
While Jones was talking to his Alexa, my Alexa was listening. And she responded with "is that Alex Jones?" Truly harrowing...
Man Up And Face Her
My wife took the kids to visit her grandmother for a week. We had just moved into a new house and bought some furniture so I was stayed home to spend the week building/mounting the furniture to get the house ready for the fam. Anyway, on the first night after they left I was mounting some shelves and cabinets in one of the bedrooms when I suddenly hear this loud and very weird sound coming from downstairs....kind of like a scream. I assumed it was the cat howling to get outside. Then suddenly I heard it again. I froze and listened. There were a few seconds of silence and then I heard it again. After a few seconds I realized that wasn't the cat. I recognized the sound as being the voice of my baby. My mind started racing. My kids and wife are in another country right now so how the hell am I hearing the sound of my baby loudly emanating from downstairs? After a minute or so of thinking, my super paranoid mind came to the conclusion that either:
a. Someone has hacked into our laptop and is remotely viewing videos of our kid.
or even worse:
b. While I've been up here listening to music, some creep broke in and is sitting down there at our table watching videos of our kids.
I decide I have to "man-up" and check it out. So, my heart pounding in my chest, I grab my hammer and start creeping down the stairs. Then I pause, thinking that I should grab my phone just in case I need to make a quick call to the police. Mind you all the while I'm hearing the sounds of my children from downstairs and it is creeping me out. I reach into my pocket, pull out my phone, and then I realize what was happening: Somehow I had basically "butt-opened" (similar to butt-dialed) my videos on my phone and they had started playing in my pocket. My phone was paired to the Echo and thus the audio from the videos was being played via the Echo.
Alexa's in the kitchen and I was sleeping on the couch because of heartburn and just as I'm on the edge of sleep, loud laughter from the kitchen. Eh eh eh eh eeeeeeeh. Eh eeeeh eh eh eh. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeh. That last one like a dying wheeze. Who's wide awake now? This guy.
Another time I was at a friend's house and made some comment along the lines of "I'd rather kill myself than eat at [that restaurant] again." Their Alexa was on the far side of the room, and yelled at full volume "IT MIGHT NOT ALWAYS FEEL LIKE IT, BUT THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO CAN HELP. PLEASE TALK TO THE NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE AT. . ."
And here I thought she wasn't listening unless I said her name. . .
What's the creepiest thing your Alexa or Google Home has ever done? Tell us all about it!