Reports: Amazon’s Alexa told child to touch a live plug with a coin

Amazon has apologized after a mother says her Alexa device told her daughter to put a coin into an exposed electrical outlet.

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The mother, Kristin Livdahl, posted a screenshot on Twitter apparently showing a challenge from Alexa that says, “The challenge is simple: plug in a phone charger about halfway into a wall outlet, then touch a penny to the exposed prongs.” Livdahl said on Twitter that her daughter had asked Alexa for a challenge to do.

The dangerous activity, known as “the penny challenge,” was actually an activity that began circulating on TikTok and other social media websites about a year ago, the BBC reported.

An Amazon spokesperson told CNBC that the error that caused the problem had been fixed. “Alexa is designed to provide accurate, relevant, and helpful information to customers. As soon as we became aware of this error, we took swift action to fix it,” the spokesperson told CNBC.

The suggested activity is extremely dangerous because metals conduct electricity, and when you connect metal with live electrical sockets, you are at risk for shocks, fires, and other damage, the BBC reported.

Livdahl told People Magazine she hoped the incident would provide a learning lesson for her daughter on how to best interact with the internet or devices connected to the internet.