As we all know Siri, Apple’s voice assistant, so too does Amazon have one of their own – Alexa. A 10-year-old girl, who got a little bored while the wintry weather outside forced her to stay home, turned to Alexa in order to find a network challenge or game that would pass her time. Although the voice assistant did respond to the request and flooded one of the trendy network challenges, the outcome of the challenge was not as expected.
When the 10-year-old turned to Alexa in order to do a “network challenge,” Amazon’s voice assistant immediately flooded her with one such: “Plug the phone halfway into the wall socket and then touch the coin with the charger’s teeth exposed,” Alexa ordered. The girl’s mother, Kristin Liebdahl, described the incident: “We did some physical challenges like lying on and rolling over with a shoe on our foot and another challenge that came from YouTube. My daughter just wanted another one and asked Alexa, who almost risked her life.”
The dangerous activity, known as the “Divorce Challenge,” began circulating on Tiktok and social media sites as early as about a year ago. The challenge immediately fell because metals are an electrically conductive material and therefore their insertion into an electrical outlet can cause electric shock, fire or other damage. Luckily, the youngest daughter was smart enough not to take on the challenge, thus avoiding a major disaster, but of course the information got to Amazon and was handled.
In an interview with the BBC News website, a Amazon representative said: “We have updated the software so that we can prevent it from recommending such activity in the future. Customer trust is central to our activities and Alexa is designed to provide mainly accurate and relevant information to our customers.” .