Amazon's Alexa gives 10-year-old a challenge that could have electrocuted her

Amazon has updated Alexa after it gave a potentially deadly challenge to a 10-year-old.

Amazon's Alexa
© Nicolas J Leclercq/UNSPLASH
Amazon's Alexa

Robots turning rogue is a plot line we’ve seen far too many times on TV. Never in our wildest dreams did we imagine that it could actually turn into reality—at least not this soon, but unfortunately it did. The worst part is, the device that went evil is actually one that many of us have in our own homes, Amazon’s Alexa.

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Evil Alexa

Yes, that’s right. This home appliance that is meant to make our lives a little easier recently went rogue and challenged a 10-year-old to do something deadly. The child’s mother went on Twitter to tell the world about what happened, and the details are beyond shocking. She said, as quoted by BBC:

We were doing some physical challenges, like laying down and rolling over holding a shoe on your foot, from a [physical education] teacher on YouTube earlier. Bad weather outside. She just wanted another one.

In an attempt to entertain herself with challenges, she turned to Alexa to give her one, and the robot told her to try the ‘penny challenge'—which was previously trending on TikTok. It said:

Here’s something I found on the web. According to The challenge is simple: plug in a phone charger about halfway into the wall outlet, then touch a penny to the exposed prongs.

Dangerous challenge

If the child had done the challenge, she could have gotten an electric shock or even started a fire. But luckily, her mother was paying attention and stopped the activity before it started.

Responding to the dangerous incident, Amazon told BBC that it has updated the home assistant to prevent this from reoccurring. They said:

Customer trust is at the centre of everything we do and Alexa is designed to provide accurate, relevant, and helpful information to customers," said Amazon in a statement.
As soon as we became aware of this error, we took swift action to fix it.
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