Alexa was tripping!
According to BBC News, the Amazon voice assistant challenged a young girl to perform a dangerous act. Now the company is making a change.
After a 10-year old asked the voice assistant for a challenge to do, Alexa instructed the child to “touch” a coin to the prongs of a half-inserted plug. Her mother took to Twitter to detail what happened.
OMFG My 10 year old just asked Alexa on our Echo for a challenge and this is what she said. pic.twitter.com/HgGgrLbdS8
— Kristin Livdahl (@klivdahl) December 26, 2021
“Plug in a phone charger about halfway into a wall outlet, then touch a penny to the exposed prongs,” said the smart speaker.
According to the young girl’s mother, Kristin Livdahl, it all started after the two were doing physical challenges.
“We were doing some physical challenges, like laying down and rolling over [while] holding a shoe on your foot, from a [physical education] teacher on YouTube earlier,” she explained. “Bad weather outside. She just wanted another one.”
From there, the Echo speaker suggested that they conduct a challenge that it had “found on the web.”
The challenge — referred to as “the penny challenge” — started appearing on TikTok and various social media platforms about a year ago.
Since metals conduct electricity, sticking them into live electrical sockets can cause electric shocks, fires, and other severe damages.
Even fire officials in the U.S. have addressed the challenge, noting the extreme circumstances one can put themselves in by participating.
Amazon has since updated Alexa to prevent anything like this from happening again.
“Customer trust is at the centre of everything we do and Alexa is designed to provide accurate, relevant, and helpful information to customers,” said Amazon in a statement. “As soon as we became aware of this error, we took swift action to fix it.”
Luckily, Livdahl says that her daughter’s wits would never allow her to do such a thing.