Concerned Mother Shares Experience After 10-Year-Old Girl was Given Shocking Challenge by Amazon Alexa
One concerned mother shared a recent experience on social media that may come as quite a shock to many Amazon Alexa device users out there. Her family's device apparently challenged the woman's 10-year-old daughter touch a penny to an exposed prong of a halfway plugged-in phone charger.
Kristin Livdahl and her 10-year-old daughter were finding ways to stay entertained indoors during some inclement weather. The mother and daughter were taking on tasks from a YouTube physical education teacher but when they were all out of challenges, the young girl turned to the family's Amazon Echo device for more fun.
Unfortunately, the challenged posed by the Amazon device was anything but fun. In fact, the task the the device handed out was down-right dangerous.
Check out the concerned mother and her Twitter post below.
According to the mother of the girl, the device told the girl to, "Plug in a phone charger about halfway into a wall outlet, then touch a penny to the exposed prongs".
Now, according to a report this "challenge" has actually been going around on TikTok. Thankfully, there are folks on the platform like @provofirerescue who are sending out PSA's to make sure no one tries this potentially deadly challenge.
With a fire-expert displaying that devastating effects could come as a result of touching a penny to a live outlet, the concerns start to boil up as to why exactly an Amazon device would suggest such a challenge in the first place.
An official Amazon support account responded to the concerned mother's Twitter post, but some were quick to point out that this was a problem that should be addressed in a more immediate manner.
Dangerous TikTok challenges have been going around almost since the platform launched. Recently, a Louisiana fire department had to issue a warning regarding one trend that involved mixing multiple bathroom cleaners into a toilet. Dangerous acts such as hitting a member of school faculty have prompted warnings from the Lafayette Parish School Superintendent.
Aside from the implications that challenges on social media can bring, there are many on Twitter wondering why someone would even have an Amazon Alexa device in their home.
The main question that came up in my mind was this - how does an Alexa device pull a dangerous trend off of social media an implement it into its responses? Why on earth would Amazon have its devices enabled to put its customers in danger?
I am not fully versed in the world of A.I. (artificial intelligence) but from the response of Amazon in one report, the company says that as soon as they learned of the problem, they rolled out an update to fix it.
Still - why should there have to be an update to make sure children aren't being told to do potentially dangerous challenges? To me, this instance shows that Amazon may not be fully in control of what their Alexa enabled devices can say at any given time.
More concerned folks on social media voiced their opinions on the incident.
As A.I. continues to be implemented across our daily lives, what could be viewed as a small problem such as this story could result in more dire consequences. Imagine if the 10-year-old in this case was not competent enough to understand that touching a penny to a live outlet was a bad idea. We could be dealing with a much more tragic incident.
I do not have an Amazon Alexa enabled device in my home, but I can understand the appeal of its convenience. Still, I can tell my iPhone "Hey Siri" and it will pick up my voice right away.
Our devices do listen to us - that seems to be an understood fact at this point. But what about when our devices start talking back? As is apparent in this case, that is when things can get weird.
See the full report from @Complex on Twitter below.