Alexa's new Follow-Up Mode can handle back-to-back requests

A small cylindrical black speak-like object sits on a kitchen counter top

The basic idea is simple, and obvious in hindsight.

If you are a regular user of Amazon Alexa then you'll know how annoying it can be to say the "Alexa" hotword before every question or command, especially when you want to ask several things one after another.

Devices like the Echo and Echo Dot will give users five seconds to hit it with a follow-up question after it answers your first one, lighting up blue to indicate that it's still listening.

The new feature, Amazon said, will be available on all hands-free Alexa-enabled devices.

Because the Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet doesn't have a home button, all you need to do is ask Alexa what you like to do. If you don't, she'll just go back to sleep automatically without saying anything else.

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Meanwhile, Amazon also explained that the random laughs might have been caused by coincidental phrases that Alexa hears and processes as commands. At the very least it'll cut down the amount of times you have to say "Alexa" in any given day. The company suggested in an email that the laughs had occurred "in rare circumstances" because the speaker was picking up a "false positive" for the command "Alexa, laugh". ALEXA: "OK, the heat is set to 68".

Amazon's digital assistant, Alexa, who, thanks to her artificial intelligence, answers questions and receives orders from users, shows unusual symptoms - which refer to parapsychological thrillers - as she suddenly starts without a reason to laugh in a frightening way it can freeze the blood.

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

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. For example, "Alexa, call mum" and she will oblige, or you can ask Alexa to drop in on a relative or a Echo Show in the nursery to check on your child.

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