Amazon’s Alexa Tells 10-Year-Old Girl to Insert Penny Into Live Plug

Amazon has updated its Alexa software after it told a 10-year-old girl in the US to insert a coin into a half-connected plug & socket. The suggestion was given after the girl asked 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. Amazon claims to have fixed the error as soon as it was reported. The girl’s mother, Kristin Livdahl, described the incident on Twitter:

“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.”

It was at this point Alexa found something on the internet to try: “the penny challenge”. The dangerous challenge originated on TikTok about a year ago, and has been condemned by health & safety bodies and fire services. Fire officials in the US have also spoken out against “the penny challenge”.

Amazon said in a statement:

“Customer trust is at the center of everything we do, and Alexa is designed to provide accurate, relevant, and helpful information to customers […] As soon as we became aware of this error, we took swift action to fix it.”

So there you have it folks, keep an eye out for this dangerous challenge — not to mention any activity suggestions from your Alexa.

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