A mom named Kristin Livdahl took to Twitter this weekend to share her shock at the suggestion Alexa gave her 10-year-old daughter when the child asked the AI for recommendations on a “challenge” to do. According to the mom, her daughter had been doing some YouTube recommended indoor physical challenges and “wanted another one” so she went to Alexa for advice.
But Alexa’s advice was anything but good, suggesting the youngster take part in a dangerous TikTok challenge. “Here’s something I found on the web,” it suggested. “According to ourcommunitynow.com: The challenge is simple: Plug in a phone charger about halfway into a wall outlet, then touch a penny to the exposed prongs.” This is the dangerous penny challenge, which can damage electrical outlets and start fires.
So, how did this happen? Well, Amazon says Alexa uses Bing as a search engine, and the suggestion actually came from an article that cautioned parents against the challenge. The company says it’s on users to help improve the machine’s answers, noting, “Our customers want Alexa to get smarter and more helpful to them every day,” adding, “To do that, we use your requests to Alexa to train our speech recognition and natural language understanding systems using machine learning.”
Needless to say, people were shocked by the huge Alexa mistake.
- “Why then in the love of all that is holy would an organization that should know better like @amazon sell a product that randomly selects content from the mess of the internet to use in conversation with any random person at any level of critical thinking ability?,” one person wrote.
- Another added, “There is literally no reason to have an ‘Alexa’ in your house,” noting, “This should tell you that if it wasn’t already obvious.”
Source:New York Post