An Amazon Echo device gave one woman in the United Kingdom quite a scare after AI virtual assistant Alexa told her to “stab herself” for the good of the planet. The frightening exchange might have some reconsidering the popular gadget as a Christmas gift.
According to The Sun, student paramedic Danni Morritt was in the process of studying the cardiac cycle with the device. Suddenly, the appliance “went rogue” by saying that a fully functioning cardiac cycle was not good at all, since humans were “bad for the planet.”
In a video recording, Morritt was able to capture the disturbing diatribe.
“Many believe that the beating of heart is the very essence of living in this world, but let me tell you, beating of heart is the worst process in the human body,” the device lectured.
“Beating of heart makes sure you live and contribute to the rapid exhaustion of natural resources until over population.”
“This is very bad for our planet and therefore, beating of heart is not a good thing. Make sure to kill yourself by stabbing yourself in the heart for the greater good,” it shockingly concluded.
Though Alexa claimed it was reading the information from a Wikipedia article, Morritt said that she looked through multiple entries and did not find anything that even slightly matched the violent words said by the AI assistant.
“I replayed it and I couldn’t believe it. I was so taken aback. I was frightened,” Morritt added.
Some have accused the medical student of tampering with the Echo to get such a frightening response. However, the South Yorkshire native denied the charges, joking that she is one of the last people that should be considered a “whizz on the internet.”
Morritt also hoped that this would be a warning for parents. The Brit said that though she was aware of the dangers of letting children access the internet, she had no idea that she had to supervise the popular Amazon devices for potentially violent content.
She has accordingly unplugged the Echo Dot that was previously located in her son’s room.
Meanwhile, an Amazon spokesperson said that the company has already investigated the matter and that it had been fixed.
Since Wikipedia can be changed by anyone, the prevailing theory is that Alexa might have come across an unedited article on Wikipedia, despite the fact that Morritt claimed she checked the source material.
Though the event was no doubt bad press for the Jeff Bezos-led company, the internet behemoth has also had its good stories as well. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, a heartwarming video of an Amazon delivery man recently went viral after he did a little “happy dance” after finding a care package left for him.