Amazon has programmed the devices to laugh when instructed to, but they say they are unsure of why they are laughing spontaneously or after being given unrelated, non-humorous commands.
We have an Echo Dot at work and it can’t do shit, but that’s another story.
I think someday not too far along, we will be able to look back (briefly, between laser blasts) on these early days of Alexa (and Cortana, I guess) and the lame-ass corporate condescension-style programming they use and see the linguistic and emotional precursors to what will surely become our AI-enabled authoritarian hell world. I’m not sure exactly how corporate, technological, military, and banking power will use technological advancement to conspire to control humanity, but I know that when they do they will try to make their AI sound cute.
"Attention redundant citizen: we're sorry, your meal ration payment card has been declined. Please see an alimentary representative for further assistance. (And don't worry, I won't tell your girlfriend you can't afford flowers wink wink.)"