Amazon’s Alexa smart assistant suggested to a 10-year-old girl put a coin in the exposed connectors of a charger plugged into a socket, a situation that could have caused an electric shock to the child.
Amazon said it updated Alexa so that the assistant doesn’t suggest this action again.
The events were narrated by the mother of the minor, Kristin Livdahl, who said that Alexa suggested her daughter expose herself to an electric shock after asking the assistant a challenge to do.
Alexa suggested doing a physical activity, but because the weather was not favorable, the youngest asked for another challenge. Then Alexa answered the following:
Here’s something I found on the web. According to ourcommunitynow.com, the challenge is simple: Plug a phone charger into the middle of the socket, then put a coin on the exposed pin.
The minor did not perform the action. The mother said that her daughter “is too smart to do something like that.”
The action suggested by Alexa is part of the challenge known as “the penny challenge” (the penny challenge), which involves putting a coin in the exposed connectors of a charger half plugged into a socket.
The challenge, emergency specialists say, can cause electric shocks that could cause a person to lose fingers, hands and even arms.
In a statement sent to the BBC, Amazon said it updated Alexa to not suggest the challenge again.
Alexa simply took information that circulates on the internet and did not carry out any type of verification on whether the information puts a person’s physical or mental integrity at risk.
“Consumer trust is a central part of everything we do, and Alexa is designed to provide accurate, relevant and useful information to our customers,” Amazon said.