Alexa is Amazon’s virtual assistant technology to improve human lives. However, the scenario was quite opposite last week when the artificial influence Alexa device commited a murder attempt by telling a 10-year-old girl to touch a live electrical plug with a penny.
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Twitter user “Kristin Livdahl” tweeted on Dec. 26, “OMFG My 10 year old just asked Alexa on our Echo for a challenge and this is what she said.”
Hi there. We're sorry to hear this! Please reach out to us directly via the following link so that we can look into this further with you: https://t.co/YlLYrTtGzy. We hope this helps. -Daragh— Amazon Help (@AmazonHelp) December 27, 2021
The Echo smart speaker Alexa responded to the 10-year-old child with a “challenge to do” that said, “plug in a phone charger about halfway into a wall outlet, then touch a penny to the exposed prongs.”
This error within Alexa has been fixed, an Amazon spokesperson told CNBC on Wednesday.
The life-threatening challenge, known as “the penny challenge,” began on TikTok and other social media platforms about a year ago. The consequences of the challenge could be potentially dangerous.
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Twitter users who responded to Livdahl’s tweet were shocked about Alexa’s recommendation.
One person said, “There is literally no reason to have an “Alexa” in your house. This should tell you that if it wasn’t already obvious.”
“Clearly AMZN’s algorithm realized that by suggesting this challenge customers will later have to buy a lot of stuff to replace everything after the house burned down,” another person said.
Luckily Livdahl intervened and the child couldn’t complete the challenge.
Earlier, US Senator Elizabeth Warren called for breaking up Amazon Inc and Indian retailers demanded a government probe of the company after a Reuters investigation showed the e-commerce giant had copied products and rigged search results in India.
Internal documents has exposed how Amazon deployed a secret strategy to bypass Indian laws by frequently changing its corporate structure and killing small businesses by illegally favoring a handful of companies it had stakes in.
Amazon was being investigated for crushing Startups by investing in them to steal their proprietary information and business ideas for launching competitors.
Meanwhile, the Indian Police have charged Amazon executive directors for running an online marijuana smuggling racket. Investigation found that around a tonne of ganja worth over Rs. 1.10 crores was in distribution via online shopping platform Amazon over the past four months.