Alexa literally encouraged kids to play a game that electrocutes them
Fortunately, the 10-year-old girl was “too smart to do something like that anyway.”
A 10-year-old asked Alexa to give her a challenge and the AI responded with an alarming suggestion that would have the girl electrocute herself using an outlet. The challenge told the girl to touch a penny to a phone charger plug that was only halfway plugged into the wall.
Twitter user Kristin Livdahl posted the shocking (pun intended) Alexa challenge on her profile earlier this week. Livdahl tweeted that she and her daughter had been doing some physical challenges from a PE teacher on YouTube, and her daughter wanted to do some more.
But this wasn’t the right kind of challenge. Luckily, Livdahl was right there and stopped Alexa before she could even finish. “I was right there and yelled, ‘No, Alexa, no!’ like it was a dog,” she said in another tweet. “My daughter says she is too smart to do something like that anyway.”
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But just because this potential disaster was avoided doesn’t mean that this isn’t super dangerous and something that needs to be addressed.
This “challenge” would cause electricity to shoot sparked off of the exposed prongs and penny and could start a fire inside the walls of a house. Not to mention the immediate injuries that could come to anyone close to the outlet at the time.
Fortunately, Amazon has already responded to this dangerous challenge. In a statement to Indy100, an Amazon spokesperson said, “As soon as we became aware of this error, we took swift action to fix it.”
It’s unclear exactly what fix has been added, but it looks like “give me a challenge” has been completely disabled on Alexa devices.
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