Do children need their own AI assistant?

Your kids might be delighted by your Amazon Alexa or Google Home, but there is always the danger that your child could interact inappropriately with your smart home assistant. What if they are asking for answers to their homework or even shopping online? Is there a need for a child-friendly home assistant? People are divided, but Amazon says yes. On May 9th, the company is releasing the Echo Dot Kids Edition in the United States – a child-friendly version of its Echo smart speaker.

One of the primary concerns is that this kid-friendly Echo Dot could seriously compromise children’s data. This is a reasonable fear, considering the current climate surrounding keeping your personal data safe. You might also be thinking, do children even need a AI assistant of their own, when they are likely exposed to all kinds of tech belonging to the adults in their life? While you might not be ready to let your child in on the machinations of the tech industry, Amazon is trying to combat these fears with promises of safety.

According to CBC, the device will allow parents to turn off voice purchasing. Amazon’s senior vice president of devices and services, Dave Limp also says this new device “will give parents peace of mind knowing their kids are getting age-appropriate content while they listen to music and books and ask questions.”

One promising feature touted by Amazon is FreeTime, a dashboard that “lets parents choose which services and skills kids can use, and gives them the ability to set a bedtime or block off time for homework, so that kids can’t talk with Alexa when they’re supposed to be sleeping or focusing on other things.”

Source: cbc.ca – Amazon is launching a new virtual assistance for kids – what could possibly go wrong?
Published: May 7, 2018