Amazon’s smart voice home assistant Alexa suggested that a 10-year-old American girl touch a coin to a plug that was not fully inserted into the socket. The girl’s mother publicized the incident on Twitter. Amazon later stated that it had “fixed” the problem with Alexa.
The girl’s mother Kristin Livdahl said that the family was playing a challenge game at the time of the incident. The girl asked Alexa what advice he had. Alexa responded: Plug the smart phone charger into the wall socket, but only half of it, and then touch it with a penny. Touch the exposed plug.
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
This “penny challenge” was popularized on TikTok last year and can cause electric shock. American firefighters have long warned that this can cause serious physical injury, sparks, serious damage to the power system, and even fires. We appeal to the public Don’t try.
Kristin Livdahl immediately yelled: “No, Alexa, no!”
The Verge It is reported that the incident is related to Alexa’s algorithm. When receiving a command to find a challenge game, Alexa will search the Internet for information about the challenge game, but will ignore the above and whether there is a danger warning.
Amazon to BBC says, “Alexa is designed to provide customers with accurate, appropriate, and useful information. Customer trust is of utmost importance. We have updated the Alexa system immediately after we learned of an error.”