A 10-year-old girl and her mother got a lesson about the utility of voice assistants after Amazon’s Alexa suggested the girl try the TikTok plug challenge. According to the girl’s mother, Kristin Livdahl, the dangerous suggestion came after her daughter asked Alexa for a challenge to do.
“We were doing some physical challenges, like laying down and rolling over holding a shot on your foot, from a Phy Ed teacher on YouTube earlier,” Livdahl explained in her Twitter thread. “She just wanted another one.”
For the (blessedly) uninitiated, the plug challenge consists of partially plugging a phone charger into an electrical outlet and then dropping a penny onto the exposed prongs. Results can run the gamut from a small spark to a full-on electrical fire.
“I was right there and yelled, ‘No, Alexa, no!’ like it was a dog,” Livdahl tweeted. “My daughter says she is too smart to do something like that anyway.”
Amazon has since removed that particular challenge from Alexa’s database, it confirmed in a statement to the BBC.
Customer trust is at the center of everything we do and Alexa is designed to provide accurate, relevant, and helpful information to customers,” an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement. “As soon as we became aware of this error, we took swift action to fix it.”