AppleInsider is supported by its audience and can earn commission as an Amazon Associate and Affiliate Partner on qualifying purchases. These affiliate partnerships do not influence our editorial content.
A child requesting a challenge from an Amazon Alexa device was instructed to “plug in a phone charger halfway, then hit a dime on the exposed pins.”
The dangerous research result came about thanks to something called “The Dime Challenge” that went viral on TikTok over the past year. Alexa will respond to general inquiries with a web search, but there is no guarantee where this result will come from.
“We were doing physical challenges, like lying down and turning around holding a shoe on your foot, from a teacher on YouTube earlier,” the mother of the child said on Twitter. “Bad weather outside. She just wanted another one. “
According to a report by BBC, the mother was present and was able to tell Alexa to stop when she heard what she was saying. However, she claimed that her daughter was smart enough to know better than to perform such a dangerous task.
“Customer trust is at the center of everything we do and Alexa is designed to deliver accurate, relevant and useful information to customers,” Amazon said in a statement. “As soon as we became aware of this error, we took swift action to correct it.”
Smart assistants like Google and Alexa are well known to have various skills that access mostly unfiltered information on the web. While there appears to be some form of trusted sources for these devices, it is evident that some malicious actors still manage to get by.