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Alexa “advises” a ten year old girl to put a coin in the socket


Challenges keep making headlines, especially when children come up with potentially dangerous challenges. But now, of all people, an “intelligent” assistant has made a proposal that is anything but intelligent, to a child. Anyone who has children and uses Alexa at the same time probably knows that this is a combination that can sometimes be a challenge in the truest sense of the word (and yes, there is a skill that makes Alexa puff and that’s endless fun for Four year olds). Something like this is annoying in most cases, but of course harmless. In the case of a ten-year-old from Great Britain, the interaction could have had tragic consequences, like that BBC reported. Because the girl asked Alexa which challenge she could do and the voice assistant from Amazon had the following on offer: “Plug a cell phone charger about halfway into a socket and then touch the exposed pins with a coin.” Needless to say, there is no need to explain why this is not a very good idea.

The girl’s mother, Kristin Livdahl, described the incident on Twitter: “We went through some physical challenges that a PE teacher posted on YouTube. The weather outside was bad. She just wanted another one.” The girl then asked Alexa and the assistant picked out a challenge from the web.

The “Penny Challenge”

This dubious activity dates back to a TikTok challenge called “The Penny Challenge” about a year ago, when there were several fires and property damage, but luckily no one was injured. The ten-year-old who now received this tip did not follow it either, the mother also reported this to the manufacturer. Amazon fixed this “bug” immediately after hearing about it, the company said.