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Playing music, telling jokes, and hosting quizzes—Amazon Alexa can do it all.
That's why Amazon's range of smart speakers were so popular this Christmas, especially with kids. But not all families have had the same experience, if reports from Twitter are anything to go by.
One mother, Kristin Livdahl, claimed on Twitter that her 10-year-old daughter asked their Amazon Echo speaker for a 'challenge'. In response, Alexa pulled up a result from the web which could have had potentially deadly consequences.
"The challenge is simple: plug in a phone charger about halfway into a wall outlet, then touch a penny to the exposed prongs."
The suggestion came from a Google search, which means that while it wasn't an original idea from Alexa itself, the smart speaker's AI did not check whether it was a safe suggestion to make to a child.
Luckily, Livdahl was able to intervene to keep her daughter safe. "I was right there and yelled, no, Alexa, no! like it was a dog. My daughter says she is too smart to do something like that anyway."
Angry Amazon fans took to Twitter to discuss the 'challenge'.
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"I did exactly this many decades ago. It was a very bad idea. There was a very large flash of light, a burning smell, and a flying blackened half-penny left. I dropped it onto the prongs rather than touch it to them, or I might not be around to reply at all," warned one Twitter user.
"I suspected Alexa was evil. Just didn't suspect Alexa was this evil," wrote another.
Other Twitter users pointed out that this is only a real risk in America.
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"One of the few things the UK can be proud of, you can't do this with our 3 pin plugs," said one account.
Amazon quickly responded to the original post and Kristin Livdahl later said that the Alexa speaker is no longer generating 'challenges' when asked to, suggesting that the company acted quickly to fix the feature.
Amazon has been approached for further comment but has not responded at the time of publication.
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