Alexa ordered 10-year-old girl to do dangerous TikTok challenge

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Amazon’s smart speaker has instructed a 10-year-old girl to plug a phone charger halfway into the outlet and slide a coin against the charger’s pins. The mother prevented this. Amazon has released an update for Alexa.

According to the BBC, the girl’s mother heard her daughter Alexa asking for a “challenge to do”. Alexa then suggested the ‘penny challenge’, also known as the ‘outlet challenge’. The girl’s mother was able to prevent her daughter from carrying out the assignment and posted the story on Twitter.

The ‘penny challenge’ went around on TikTok a year ago. Here, someone is challenged to plug a telephone charger halfway into the socket and slide a coin against the pins. This causes a lot of sparks and smoke. The action could cause a fire or electric shock to the person placing the coin, resulting in serious injury. Alexa found the penny challenge by searching the internet.

Amazon informed the BBC that an update has been released for Alexa to prevent these types of commands from being presented by the speaker: “Alexa was designed to provide correct, relevant and useful information to customers. Once we found out about this error we have taken action”.

The TikTok challenge caused problems in schools in the United States last year. Students caused damage to electrical outlets and the sparks and smoke set off the fire alarm.

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