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Sunday, January 01, 2017

Childrens Toys, Data and AI

Bernard Marr in Forbes on toy assistant capabilities aimed at children.  Like the very successful adult assistants, these are ever listening,  and can gather data to be used with Big Data, which may create regulatory issues.

Caution: AI And Big Data Reaches Our Kids' Christmas Toys   Bernard Marr 

Not to be a Grinch or a Scrooge, but you’d better watch out when it comes to some of this season’s hottest Christmas toys.

Last year, I wrote about Mattel’s Hello Barbie, which responds realistically to your child by using natural language processing, machine learning and advanced analytics to parse what a child says and respond accordingly.  In order to do this, the toy has to record what the child says, send it to a cloud-based server, and receive instructions back. On Barbie, there’s a “listen” button the child has to press to start recording what she says in order to get a response.

Mattel claims that only they and their tech partner (currently) have access to these recordings, but with the newest generation of talking toys, the audience is a bit larger.

In fact, advocacy groups have filed a complaint with the FCC that some of this season’s hottest toys, including My Friend Cayla and the i-Que Intelligent Robot, are violating children’s privacy. ... " 

See COPPA   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Children's_Online_Privacy_Protection_Act

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