Amazon’s Alexa tells 10-year-old girl to put penny on live socket as a ‘challenge’

A mother in US received a shock of her life when Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa “dared” her 10-year-old daughter to put a penny on a partially exposed live electric plug.

According to the girl’s mother, Kristin Livdahl, the dangerous suggestion came after her daughter asked Alexa for “a challenge to do”.

“Plug in a phone charger about halfway into a wall outlet, then touch a penny to the exposed prongs,” the smart speaker said after it found the challenge “on the web”.

The smart speaker was actually describing the TikTok ” penny challenge” which had gone viral a year ago.

Describing the incident on Twitter, Livdahl, said, “We were doing some physical challenges, like laying down and rolling over holding a shoe on your foot, from a [physical education] teacher on YouTube earlier. Bad weather outside. She just wanted another one.”

That’s when the Echo speaker suggested partaking in the challenge that it had “found on the web”.

Livdahl tweeted that she intervened, yelling, “No, Alexa, no!”

However, she said her daughter was “too smart to do something like that”.

After Livdahl shared her ordeal on the social media website, Amazon released an official statement that it has “quickly fixed” the error, while adding that the company is “taking steps to help prevent something similar 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 to the BBC.

(With inputs from agencies)

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