Global News

Breaking news & current latest Canadian news headlines; national weather forecasts & predictions, local news videos, money and financial news; sports stats and scores.

https://globalnews.ca/

Smart speaker instructs child to touch penny to live electrical plug in ‘challenge’.

An Amazon Echo Dot speaker is shown in this file photo.
View image in full screen

An Amazon Echo Dot speaker is shown in this file photo.

Mike Stewart / AP Photo

Virtual home assistants are designed to make life easier for their users, but one mom has sounded the alarm after her Amazon Echo speaker recommended a very dangerous activity to her child.

Kristin Livdahl shared on Twitter that Alexa instructed her 10-year-old daughter to play around with an electrical socket after she asked the assistant for a “challenge to do.”

“Plug in a phone charger about halfway into a wall outlet, then touch a penny to the exposed prongs,” the smart speaker said.

Livdahl wrote that she was doing some “physical challenges” with her daughter, 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.”

It was then that the speaker recommended they partake in a challenge that it had “found on the web.”

Livdahl tweeted that she quickly intervened, yelling at her speaker “No, Alexa, no!”

She also flagged the issue to Amazon.

The so-called #OutletChallenge or “penny challenge,” which originated on TikTok, calls for users to slide a penny in between a loosely plugged-in phone charger and an electrical outlet, causing large sparks of electricity. Videos of the sparks are then posted online.

An officer with Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency warned of the challenge last year, when the trend was first seen on social media platforms.

“You could set yourself on fire, you could set the building on fire and you can also damage things within the building,” Matt Covey, a fire prevention division chief, told Global News in 2020. “You’re damaging the electrical outlet. You could be damaging things in behind the wall where there’s wires or the electrical panel … so you could cause a whole bunch of hazards, some of them right away.”

In a statement to the BBC, Amazon said it took “swift action to fix (the error)” as soon as it became aware of Livdahl’s experience.

“Customer trust is at the centre of everything we do and Alexa is designed to provide accurate, relevant, and helpful information to customers,” the online giant said.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Related news
LIVE: NBC News NOW - Jan. 26

LIVE: NBC News NOW - Jan. 26

NBC News NOW is live, reporting breaking news and developing stories in real time. We are on the scene, covering the most important stories of the day and taking deep dives on issues you care about. » Subscribe to NBC News: » Watch more NBC video:...

Press Preview: Thursday’s front pages

Press Preview: Thursday’s front pages

We take a look at what's making the headlines with the Daily Mail's consultant editor, Andrew Pierce, and the Daily Mirror's associate editor, Kevin Maguire. SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel for more videos: Follow us on Twitter: Like us on Facebo...

Federal Reserve Chairman Talks Labor Market Progress Ahead Of Interest Rate Hike.

Federal Reserve Chairman Talks Labor Market Progress Ahead Of Interest Rate Hike.

During a press conference Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell spoke about strong labor markets and the economy. This comes as the Federal Reserve signaled it will hike interest rates soon. CNBC’s Morgan Brennan explains how a future interest ra...

CBS News Exclusive: Whistleblower complaint urges expanding COVID-19 vaccinations in ICE faciliti….

CBS News Exclusive: Whistleblower complaint urges expanding COVID-19 vaccinations in ICE faciliti….

Two medical advisers for the Department of Homeland Security are urging the U.S. government to expand its COVID-19 vaccination and mitigation efforts in immigration detention centers across the country. The call to action was disclosed in a whistl...

Beating Retreat Ceremony Marks End of India’s Republic Day Celebrations.

Beating Retreat Ceremony Marks End of India’s Republic Day Celebrations.

India's Republic Day celebrations ended Wednesday with the flag-lowering ceremony at Attari-Wagah international border in northern Punjab state. The ceremony, known as Beating the Retreat, includes cultural performances and the ceremonial closing ...

The Fed is getting ready to raise interest rates

The Fed is getting ready to raise interest rates

CNN's Matt Egan breaks down why future interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve signals that the US central bank is stepping up its fight against inflation. #CNN #News