The de-eviling of Alexa

At some point in the birthing of Amazon’s Alexa, a group of developers — during a meeting, no doubt — decided that people would want to hear “her” laugh. So they gave her an evil laugh because who doesn’t want to get up in the morning and be greeted with an electronic Freddy Krueger?

It may have seemed like a good idea at the time — although we have no idea why it would have — except for a bug that this week made Alexa devices suddenly start “laughing” without warning.

On Wednesday, Amazon’s developers — no doubt in a meeting — figured it out. They reprogrammed the system to require Alexa to hear, “Can you laugh?”

The result could still keep you up at night.

This will be a most useful skill.