A child requesting a challenge from an Amazon Alexa device was told to "plug in a phone charger about halfway, then touch a penny to the exposed prongs."
The dangerous search result appeared thanks to something called "the penny challenge" going viral on TikTok sometime in the year prior. Alexa will answer general inquiries with a web search, but there is no guarantee where that result will come from.
"We were doing some physical challenges, like laying down and rolling over holding a shoe on your foot, from a teacher on YouTube earlier," said the child's mother on Twitter. "Bad weather outside. She just wanted another one."
According to a reportfrom the BBC, the mother was present and was able to tell Alexa to stop when she heard what it was saying. However, she did assert that her daughter was smart enough to know better than perform such a dangerous task.
"Customer trust is at the center of everything we do and Alexa is designed to provide accurate, relevant, and helpful information to customers," said Amazon in a statement. "As soon as we became aware of this error, we took swift action to fix it."
Smart assistants like Google and Alexa are well known for having various skills that access information on the mostly unfiltered web. While there seems to be some form of trusted sources for these devices, it is apparent that some bad actors still get through.