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Amazon's Alexa Told A 10-Year-Old To Touch Prongs In Outlet With A Penny. Why?

The company updated its Alexa voice assistants after one told a child to do a dangerous challenge.

While many love Amazon's ( (AMZN) - Get Free Report)'s Alexa's ability to answer silly questions, the virtual voice assistant's preprogrammed suggestions can also turn dangerous.

This week, the company had to update its Alexa devices after one responded to a 10-year-old girl's request for a "challenge" by suggesting that she put a charger halfway into an outlet and then touch the prong with a metal penny. 

Doing so can cause a current to short-circuit and start a fire.

"We were doing some physical challenges, like laying down and rolling over holding a shoe on your foot, from a [physical education] teacher on YouTube earlier," the girl's mother, Kristin Livdahl, wrote on Twitter. "Bad weather outside. She just wanted another one."

Known as "the penny challenge," the suggestion started making the rounds on TikTok. From asking teens to hold their breath until they pass out to the recent string of school closures due to vague threats of violence, the social media platform has caused many dangerous user-generated challenges to go viral over the years.

Because of the platform's popularity, many of the things on it can come up early in search for things like "challenge." In her tweet, Livdahl said that she immediately yelled out "no" to the suggestion but her daughter is "too smart to do something like that." 

As her tweet went viral, users responded with stories of accidentally touching wall sockets and sustaining serious injuries.

Amazon responded to the situation by saying that it "fixed it quickly, taking steps to help prevent something similar from happening again."