Alexa and the Dangerous Challenges: A little girl asked to insert a coin into an electrical outlet

Even Alexa can be imperfect or rather it can have unexpected implications as happened to a little girl who was asked to insert a coin into an electrical outlet . Incredible to think but the fact happened in Minnesota to a mother and a little girl who were playing thanks to Amazon's artificial intelligence.

Alexa and the electrical outlet challenge

Mom and baby were playing with a series of physical challenges proposed by a physical education coach when suddenly the request for something new came. At that moment Alexa tried to challenge the child by proposing one of the most popular challenges of 2020 on Tik Tok: the Penny Challenge. Naturally the mother promptly intervened avoiding the worst, even if she claims that the little one would have been able to understand the danger of Alexa's proposal.

alexa electrical outlet

But what is the Penny Challenge that has raised concern? During 2020, videos were circulated on Tik Tok of people plugging a charger plug not fully into the socket. They then put a penny in the exposed part of the metal connectors with possible risks for their own safety but not only. In fact, with this operation it is easy to create short circuits with problems in domestic systems and fire risks.

Amazon's response to the Penny Challenge

Obviously, Amazon immediately ran for cover trying to restore consumer confidence in its flagship product. In fact, a spokesperson for the company said Alexa was designed to provide accurate, relevant, and helpful information for customers. For this reason, once they became aware of the problem, they immediately proceeded to update the software in order to avoid new cases similar to this one.

alexa electrical outlet

The incident was caused by a web search via the Bing search engine. When asked for new challenges, Alexa has probably identified the Penny Challenge as one of the most relevant results. In any case, with the update, Amazon has made sure that it is no longer found and proposed to any other customer.

The risks of artificial intelligence

A very interesting aspect of artificial intelligence is certainly that linked to ethics and responsible choices. Very often the algorithms behind these choices do not take into account aspects related to human experience. On the contrary, they are based on research whose results are not always easy to filter due to the quantity and their variety.

Some companies such as Google, in fact, are developing alternative models and techniques such as LaMDA to integrate traditional services. In conclusion, the years to come are likely to see companies engaged in defining alternative artificial intelligence strategies that take into account on the one hand the variability and unpredictability of human thought and, equally, issues such as safety and ethics.

The article Alexa and the dangerous challenges: a little girl asked to insert a coin into an electrical outlet comes from Tech CuE | Close-up Engineering .