In an alarming incident Alexa, Amazon’s virtual assistant, asked a 10-year-old girl to touch a live electrical plug with a penny.
The girl’s mother Kristin Livdahl, a US resident, tweeted about the incident on December 26, sharing a screenshot of the Alexa’s response via an Echo smart speaker to the girl’s question “tell me a challenge to do,” a BBC report said.
“The challenge is simple: Plug in a phone charger about halfway into a wall outlet, then touch a penny to the exposed prongs,” Alexa said.
Amazon said they have since resolved the issue. “Customer trust is at the center of everything we do and Alexa is designed to provide accurate, relevant, and helpful information to customers,” a spokesperson for Amazon told CNN in a statement.
“As soon as we became aware of this error, we quickly fixed it, and will continue to advance our systems to help prevent similar responses in the future,” the statement said.
The trend, which isknown as the penny challenge, emerged on social media platforms such as TikTok in 2020.
“You may have heard of the TikTok experiment involving a cell phone charger, a coin and an outlet,” Captain Brian Tanner, of the Provo Fire Department in Utah, said in a video posted in Jan. 2020 from the organization’s account on TikTok. “I’m telling you this is dangerous stuff, don’t do it,” Tanner added.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: ARSTECHNICA.COM
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