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Amazon's Alexa told child to touch penny to live electrical plug, report says

Amazon says it's fixed the error that allowed its Alexa assistant to suggest the dangerous "penny challenge" to a girl.

Amazon's Echo products are operated by voice commands via Alexa, the company's virtual assistant. 
Chris Monroe/CNET

Amazon's Alexa digital assistant suggested that a 10-year-old girl touch a penny to the prongs of a plug partially inserted into an electrical outlet, the BBC reported Tuesday. 

Amazon said in a statement that it "quickly fixed" the error that allowed Alexa to suggest the challenge and that the company is "taking steps to help prevent something similar from happening again." 

The child reportedly asked an Amazon Echo smart device to suggest a challenge for her. Alexa responded by offering a challenge that it had "found on the web." A so-called "penny challenge" circulated earlier this year, a dangerous stunt that runs the risk of electrical fires and injuries. 

Amazon's Echo products, which are operated by voice commands made to Alexa, are among the most popular smart-home devices. But Amazon and Alexa have come under criticism before, especially over privacy. 

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