It appears that Amazon Alexa had instructed a 10-year-old girl to try the ‘plug challenge,’ which has gained notoriety on TikTok, after she had asked the virtual assistant for a challenge to try.
The girl’s mother, Kristin Livdahl, said the pair were originally doing physical challenges while watching a Physical Education teacher’s video on YouTube. Wanting something else to try out, her daughter called out to Alexa for a suggestion.
According to Ars Technica, the challenge involves partially plugging a smartphone charger into a live electric outlet, before dropping a penny onto the semi-exposed prongs. People who’ve tried this have experienced anything from a small spark to an entire fire.
“I was right there and yelled, ‘No, Alexa, no!’ like it was a dog. My daughter says she is too smart to do something like that anyway,” Livdahl shared in her tweets.
Amazon said it has since removed the challenge from the virtual assistant’s database, so it will no longer suggest such activities to customers. Though it didn’t elaborate on how the system learnt about the ‘plug challenge’ in the first place.
“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,” the company’s spokesperson told the BBC.
Fingers crossed Alexa hasn’t managed to convince anyone else to give this dangerous trick a try.
OMFG My 10 year old just asked Alexa on our Echo for a challenge and this is what she said. pic.twitter.com/HgGgrLbdS8
— Kristin Livdahl (@klivdahl) December 26, 2021
[via Ars Technica & BBC, cover image via Athurdreams | Dreamstime.com]
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