Amazon’s Alexa Directed A 10-Year-Old Child To Perform A Dangerous Internet Challenge

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According to reports, an Amazon Alexa gadget directed an inquisitive 10-year-old child to the location of a devastating viral challenge.

“An Alexa device [was] encouraging a ten-year-old to participate in the penny challenge,” according to 9to5Mac.com. “The penny challenge is where you use a penny to hit the prongs of a plug attached to a wall outlet.”

Fortunately for everyone involved, including Amazon, the child’s parent intervened to avert what could have been a major mishap.

Alexa’s response to requests for a challenge on December 28th, after Amazon fixed this particular answer.
Alexa’s response to requests for a challenge on December 28th, after Amazon fixed this particular answer. (Image: The Verge)

Instead of following Alexa’s advice, the child’s mother, Kristin Livdahl, overheard the idea and shouted a swift “No!” to avert the disaster. Livdahl, on the other hand, told the BBC that her daughter was far too intelligent to heed such counsel.

They also notified Amazon, which has already modified Alexa to ensure that such a horrible thought does not arise again from the system’s virtual lips.

Amazon stated to the BBC 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.”

In October, a user claimed that if you Googled “had a seizure now what,” Google displayed potentially harmful advice in one of its featured snippets.

It’s worth remembering that, like Siri and Google Assistant, Alexa isn’t a sentient person out to annoy unsuspecting humans. It uses a search engine – in this case, Microsoft’s Bing – to locate appropriate results for most search queries, such as “Find me a challenge.” Alexa will normally inform you of this by saying, “This is what I discovered on the Internet.”

On Tuesday, New website TechRadar checked in with Alexa, asking it a variety of questions to see if it might provide us a new challenge. There was nothing remotely hazardous (or intriguing) to be found.

Techradar further wrote that when they looked on TikTok, they found a few examples of the year-old “Penny Plug Challenge’s” aftermath. All examples appeared to be a disaster. One, on the other hand, was from a paramedic, who explained what would happen if you did it (he’d be rescuing you from your burning house).

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