Artificial Intelligence: Alexa “Challenges” 10-Year-Old To Touch A Penny To Electrical Outlet

December 31, 2021 | Artificial Intelligence, News

The child asked Alexa for a challenge.

Kristin Livdahl’s 10-year-old daughter happened to ask Amazon’s (NASDAQ: AMZN) Alexa on the family’s Echo for a challenge. Guess what Alexa suggested to the girl: Touch a penny to the exposed leads of an electrical outlet! A tragedy was averted because the mother was right there, and the challenge was never attempted. The shocked mother posted the AI-powered Alexa’s verbatim response on Twitter. (Tom’s Guide)

Alexa is a digital voice assistant that is powered by artificial intelligence. It relies on natural language generation and processing as well as machine learning to keep improving its responses. If Alexa makes an error when responding to a user’s request, it takes the data relating to that interaction and learns from it. Both favourable and erroneous feedbacks are noted by the program.

In the instant case, Alexa responded to the girl as follows:

“Here’s something I found on the web. According to The challenge is simple: plug in a phone charger about halfway into a wall outlet, then touch a penny to the exposed prongs.”

Apparently, Alexa’s AI pulled the information from Alexa was inspired to make the suggestion because it likely picked up on a TikTok challenge that went viral in 2020.

Amazon issued an appropriately apologetic, boilerplate statement:

“Customer trust is at the center of everything we do and Alexa is designed to provide accurate, relevant, and helpful information to customers. As soon as we became aware of this error, we quickly fixed it, and will continue to advance our systems to help prevent similar responses in the future.”

The incident raises concerns around the systems that developed Alexa and its AI, as well as AI itself in general.

Related Story: Now, An AI-Powered Prosecutor Can File Charges In China

Image of burned electrical point: Wikimedia Commons

Image of penny: US Mint

Free Industry News

Subscribe to our free newsletter for updates and news about alternatives investments.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Latest Alternative Investment News
FinTech: Lloyds To Acquire Stake In Loyalty App Bink
January 4, 2022     FinTech, News

Lloyds Banking Group (LON: LLOY), Britain’s biggest mortgage provider, will acquire a minority stake in loyalty app Bink, according to a report by Sky News for an undisclosed amount that…
Digital Assets: Coinbase CEO Armstrong Said To Have Splurged $133M On Home In LA
January 4, 2022     Digital Assets, News, Real Estate

An iconic property in Bel Air, Los Angeles, designed by internationally acclaimed English architect John Pawson changed hands last month for $133 million and the buyer was Coinbase (NASDAQ: COIN)…
Alternative Investments/ESG: VegTech Invest Launches Plant-Based Innovation & Climate ETF

VegTech Invest advisory has launched the VegTech Plant-based Innovation & Climate ETF (Ticker: EATV), its first financial product. The ETF offers exposure to publicly traded companies actively innovating with plants…超·世界.png
Venture Capital: Chinese AI Startup Parametrix Raises $100M, Turns Unicorn
January 4, 2022     Artificial Intelligence, News, Venture Capital

Chinese AI company has raised $100 million in a Series B round led by Sequoia China and joined by existing investors 5Y Capital and Gaorong Capital. Though the valuation…