Amazon Alexa penny challenge

December 2021

Amazon's Alexa voice assistant has recommended a girl touch a coin onto the exposed prongs of a live electric plug, potentially causing her serious injury, or setting off an electric fire.

Having been asked by the 10-year old for a physical challenge to do, Alexa recommended that she 'Plug in a phone charger about halfway into a wall outlet, then touch a penny to the exposed prongs'.

The penny challenge is thought to have started circulating on TikTok over the past few months. Amazon says it has now removed the challenge from Alexa's database.

Operator: Amazon
Developer:
Amazon
Country: UK
Sector:
Technology
Purpose: Interact with users
Technology: Speech/voice recognition
Issue: Safety
Opacity: Governance; Black box