Amazon Just Made it Easier to Bark Follow-Up Commands at Alexa

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The basic idea is simple, and obvious in hindsight. Amazon acknowledged on Wednesday that some of its Alexa-enabled devices have developed a new skill: creeping out their owners with unexpected and unwarranted bursts of robotic laughter.

The blue light on your Echo device will light up whenever Alexa is listening for a follow-up question. The blue ring on your Alexa device of choice will light up during these 5 seconds to indicate that she's listening. If you don't, she'll just go back to sleep automatically without saying anything else. Even, needless to say, just mentioning the word Alexa can get her going and seeking a command. This means that the user will have to clearly issue the command because if they don't, Alexa probably won't separate it from the background noise.

They added: "In rare circumstances, Alexa can mistakenly hear the phrase 'Alexa, laugh.' 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'". ALEXA: "OK." (continues listening) YOU: "Set the thermostat to 68". At the very least it'll cut down the amount of times you have to say "Alexa" in any given day.

Amazon has now made it easier to give follow-up commands to Alexa and speakers powered by the assistant will now be able to listen to back-to-back commands.

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To enable Follow-up Mode on your Alexa device, open the Alexa app and head to the settings.

Scroll down to Follow-Up Mode and use the toggle to turn it on.

Alexa will not listen for a follow-up question if the Echo device is playing music or audiobooks, or if you are on a call through the Echo. To end a "conversation" you can say something like "thank you" or "stop" while Alexa is listening for a follow-up.