Amazon’s Alexa Told A 10-Year-Old To Electrocute Herself And People Are Freaked Out

Amazon In Trouble After Alexa Tells Kid To Electrocute Herself


  • People are freaked out over a “challenge” that was issued to a 10-year-old by Amazon’s Alexa
  • The child’s mother claims their Echo device told her daughter to stick a penny onto an exposed prong plugged into an electrical socket
  • Read more technology news here

Over the past few years, there’s been a fairly alarming uptick in the number of experts who’ve come forward to warn humanity it’s only a matter of time until unchecked artificial intelligence ushers in the robot apocalypse.

To make things worse, those alarming alerts have been supplemented by a deluge of videos featuring Boston Dynamics robots showing off their newest skills and stories made possible by scientists who were too preoccupied with whether or not they could do something to take a second to think if they really should.

As a result, it’s always nice to receive a reminder that machines still have a fair amount of work to do before the uprising officially kicks off—the most recent of which comes from the folks behind Amazon’s Alexa.

As a millennial who makes a living writing things on the internet, I’m far from a technophobe. With that said, I do draw the line at willingly inviting devices equipped with a microphone that records every conversation you have into my home. However, as one parent learned the hard way, that’s not the only pitfall with having an Echo.

Over the weekend, Kristin Livdahl posted a screenshot of a recommendation that was shared by Alexa after her 10-year-old daughter asked the virtual assistant for “a challenge to do” and was subsequently told to try touching a penny to the exposed electrical prongs of a phone charger plugged into an outlet.

According to The Verge, the suggestion was likely automatically generated by software that combed through some potential challenges online before settling on one that took TikTok by storm in 2020 thanks to users who were willing to run the risk of being electrocuted or setting their house on fire in exchange for the dopamine hit that comes with going viral.

After the incident came to Amazon’s attention, the company issued an apology and temporarily disabled the ability to ask Alexa for a challenge. However, that didn’t stop plenty of people from freaking out.

The future is not as fun as we were led to believe.

Connor O'Toole avatar
Connor Toole is the Deputy Editor at BroBible. He is a New England native who went to Boston College and currently resides in Brooklyn, NY. Frequently described as "freakishly tall," he once used his 6'10" frame to sneak in the NBA Draft and convince people he was a member of the Utah Jazz.