Monday, May 23, 2022

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Amazon Alexa tells 10-year-old girl to touch live plug with penny

10-year-old child’s mother was furious with the digital assistant nudging her child to stick a metal item into the power socket.

The suggestion came after the girl asked Alexa 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.

According to Kristin Livdahl, mother of a 10-year-old child and writer, her daughter asked Alexa, Amazon Echo’s digital assistant, for a challenge.

A somewhat ominously artificial intelligence offered the baby a potentially lethal task.

“The challenge is simple: plug in a phone charger about halfway into a wall outlet, then touch a penny to the exposed prongs,” Alexa said and set the timer for 20 minutes to complete the challenge.

The mother explained that she and her daughter were exercising to warm up, and her 10-year-old asked for more, prompting a deadly offer from Amazon’s artificial intelligence.

“It was a good moment to go through internet safety and not trusting things you read without research and verification again. We thought the cesspool of YouTube was what we needed to worry about at this age—with limited internet and social media access—but not the only thing,” Livdahl explained in a Tweet.”

Amazon said it fixed the error as soon as the company became aware of it.

The dangerous activity, known as “the penny challenge”, began circulating on TikTok and other social media websites about a year ago

Secondary editor and executive officer at Tech Business News. Contracting as an IT support engineer for 20 years Matthew has a passion for sharing his knowledge of the technology industry. He's also an advocate for global cyber security matters.

Matthew Giannelis
Matthew Giannelis
Secondary editor and executive officer at Tech Business News. Contracting as an IT support engineer for 20 years Matthew has a passion for sharing his knowledge of the technology industry. He's also an advocate for global cyber security matters.

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