Amazon Alexa Apparently Suggested That a Family Take Part in a Dangerous Tiktok Challenge
Amazon Alexa allegedly suggested that a mother and daughter should complete a dangerous TikTok challenge.
Minnesota mom Kristin Livdahl tweeted about the frightening experience. "My 10 year old just asked Alexa on our Echo for a challenge and this is what she said," she wrote alongside a screenshot of what Alexa apparently suggested. Alexa told the mother and her 10-year-old daughter about the viral 2020 challenge where people would plug in a phone charger halfway into a wall outlet and then hold a penny to the exposed prongs.
Livdahl was shocked by the suggestion. "I was right there and yelled, 'No, Alexa, no!' like it was a dog. My daughter says she is too smart to do something like that anyway," she added.
The mother and daughter were frequently searching for physical challenges to complete together to stay physically active. Amazon's website states that it uses Bing as its default search engine for queries that Amazon Echo owners ask. They also ask real users to improve its answers.
“Our customers want Alexa to get smarter and more helpful to them every day,” the official Amazon website says. "To do that, we use your requests to Alexa to train our speech recognition and natural language understanding systems using machine learning.”
Amazon apologized to Livdahl on Twitter and offered assistance.
“Customer trust is at the center of everything we do and Alexa is designed to provide accurate, relevant, and helpful information to customers," an Amazon spokesperson told USA Today in a statement. "As soon as we became aware of this error, we quickly fixed it, and will continue to advance our systems to prevent similar responses in the future.”
At the time of this article's publication, Alexa currently no longer offers any suggestions when users ask for a challenge to complete.