Amazon Alexa has reportedly gained a new feature that will let users make successive requests without the requirement of an Echo speaker's trigger word.
The new feature works because Alexa now continues to listen five seconds after a command, indicated by the blue ring on the hardware staying lit.
Over the past month, owners of Amazon devices (such as Echo) that use the voice-activated assistant Alexa began reporting incidents of their devices laughing randomly, and without any prompting. Alexa asks your name and offers to create your own personalized workout profile and program. "We are changing that phrase to be 'Alexa, can you laugh?' which is less likely to have false positives, and we are disabling the short utterance 'Alexa, laugh.'" In addition to this, Amazon also adds, "We are also changing Alexa's response from simply laughter to 'Sure, I can laugh" followed by laughter". Now, however, a setting in your app turns on Follow-Up Mode that makes multiple questions just a little bit easier.
"Every time Alexa laughs, an angel dies", entrepreneur and innovator Elon Musk joked in a Twitter exchange on the development.
What do you think about Follow-Up Mode?
Locate and select your Echo device.More news: South African triathlete injured in saw attack
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The random laugh is different from the "tee-hee" laugh Alexa gives when asked if it can laugh. For now, follow-up is only offered in English and only works when Alexa isn't doing a continuous command, such as reading an audiobook or making a call. In other words, Alexa will only respond to requests she's definitely recognised - and not just background noise.
It'll be interesting to see how well this works.
Which devices support Follow-Up Mode?
Amazon told AFP it looked into what was going on and found that sometimes Alexa mistakenly registers the phrase "Alexa laugh" and obeys.