electrical outlet with penny
There are already plenty of reasons why Americans are a bit trepidatious when it comes to the smart home devices being peddled by Big Tech, but a whole new chapter in this book of worry has been written this week.
With devices like Amazon’s Alexa, there is no shortage of horror stories out there. They mostly revolve around the reality that these gadgets are always listening and feeding your behavioral data through an algorithm that is then used to sell you stuff. It’s an invasion of privacy of the most diabolical order, and many of us aren’t even aware of how dangerous it could be. But that kind of clandestine catastrophe isn’t the only trouble Alexa can cause.
According to Kristin Livdahl, the 10-year-old girl’s mom:
: “We were doing some physical challenges, like laying down and rolling over holding a shoe on your foot, from a [physical education] teacher on YouTube earlier. Bad weather outside. She just wanted another one.”
That’s when the Echo speaker suggested partaking in the challenge that it had “found on the web”.
The challenge involved putting a penny in an electric socket, something that could and has resulted in death.
The dangerous activity, known as “the penny challenge”, began circulating on TikTok and other social media websites about a year ago.
(…) Ms Livdahl tweeted that she intervened, yelling: “No, Alexa, no!”
However, she said her daughter was “too smart to do something like that”.
There were articles warning people about the almost fatal “game” two years ago Ms. Livdahl found:
“Here’s something I found on the web. According to ourcommunitynow.com: The challenge is simple: plug in a phone charger about halfway into a wall outlet, then touch a penny to the exposed prongs,” Alexa’s response read.
Amazon was quick to respond with some boilerplate banality.
“Customer trust is at the center of everything we do and Alexa is designed to provide accurate, relevant, and helpful information to customers,” a spokesperson for Amazon told CNN in a statement.“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 statement said.
They replied at 1:18 CMT time. pic.twitter.com/V2aS0uFfDq
— Kristin Livdahl (@klivdahl) December 28, 2021