Amazon updates AI after Alexa tells 10-year-old to try ‘penny challenge’

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Amazon updated its Alexa artificial intelligence (AI) after a user posted that an Amazon device told their child to do what is known as the “penny challenge,” a company spokesperson said Thursday. 

“Customer trust is at the center of everything we do and Alexa is designed to provide accurate, relevant, and helpful information to customers,” the spokesperson said 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,” they added. 

The update comes a few days after a user on Twitter said their 10-year-old asked Alexa on an Echo device for a challenge. In response, Alexa gave information about what is known as the penny challenge.

“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,” Alexa responded, according to the screenshot shared on Twitter

The penny challenge trend gained popularity on the video sharing app TikTok, but some fire departments have been warning about potential dangers that it poses. Captain Brian Tanner with the Provo Fire Department in Utah posted a TikTok in January warning users against the challenge.

Tags Alexa Amazon Artificial intelligence tiktok Twitter
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