Mom: My Girl Asked Alexa a Question, Got Dangerous Reply

When asked to suggest a challenge, Alexa told her to touch penny to exposed prongs
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 28, 2021 12:10 PM CST
Mom: Alexa Told My Girl to Do Dangerous Challenge
Stock photo.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Ask Alexa to tell you a joke and she'll comply. Ask her to give you a challenge and she could seriously harm you—or so claims the mom of a 10-year-old girl. Kristin Livdahl wrote on Twitter that she and her daughter were making a day of crummy weather more fun by doing physical challenges inside. When they ran out of ideas, her daughter asked Alexa to give her a challenge, and "OMFG ... this is what she said," Livdahl tweeted. She included a screenshot of the response Alexa gave, which began: "Here's something I found on the web." Alexa went on to cite a "simple" challenge from "ourcommunitynow.com" in which you plug a phone charger into an electrical outlet halfway, then touch a penny to the exposed prongs.

Doing so is, of course, dangerous, with "the potential to create sparks, damage electrical outlets, and even start fires," reports the New York Post. Livdahl says she yelled "no, Alexa, no!" Insider reports the so-called penny challenge went viral on TikTok last year, pointing out that the article Alexa cited from ourcommunitynow.com is dated 2020. Amazon told the BBC it was alerted to the incident and "took swift action to fix it. ... Customer trust is at the center of everything we do and Alexa is designed to provide accurate, relevant, and helpful information to customers." (Read more Alexa stories.)

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