Mattel Aristotle cancelled their plans to bring a smart device called Aristotle to market that is aimed at infancy to children’s adolescence. The parents raised privacy concerns after child advocacy groups and lawmakers for impacting the artificial intelligence that could record the children’s development, privacy, and well-being.
Democrat of Massachusetts – Senator Ed Markey, Representative, and Republican of Texas Joe Barton, also sent a letter to Mattel written with, “This new product from Mattel has the potential to raise serious privacy concerns and build children’s and their family’s depth profile. It appears with the personal capabilities that another device has never provided before into the children’s.”
The voice of Mattel can be activated via a Wi-Fi device along with a companion camera was introduced as a room platform for connecting kids for the first-of-its-kind. Mattel has designed Aristotle for providing comfort, entertainment, teach, and assistance during each development state to a child who needs change with their evolvement.
Based on Amazon’s Alexa technology, it comes loaded with features like soothing the crying baby’s ability, reinforcing good manners, teaching A-B-C’s, playing interactive games, and helping kids complete their homework. Providing all-in-one nursery necessities on Mattel’s website, it also offered the functionality of e-commerce to enable Aristotle to re-order the baby products as per the need of the user automatically.
Privacy Concerns of Mattel Aristotle
One of the remarkable things about Mattel Aristotle is its so many different concerns. Firstly, a device with a camera and a microphone has the potential to collect the data of young children in their bedrooms that can be used and shared with advertisers and retailers. Then, there is also a concern about all these child development by replacing essential parenting functions with a device.
The new leader of the company prompted the decision not to bring Aristotle into the market. The spokeswoman said that the company’s new chief technology officer – Sven Gerjets, conducted a review session of the Aristotle product. Then, it is decided not to align fully with the new technology strategy of Mattel.
The recent announcement from Mattel was met with praise. Those who believe that corporate experimentation and profits should never come at the children’s privacy and well-being – this is a huge victory for everyone. Mattel is recommended for listening to the development experts of the children. Thousands of parents told Mattel Aristotle – a child’s bedroom; they should never be outsourced for corporate surveillance and essential caregiving functions by a robot.
Not only for Aristotle, but Mattel was also criticized for its Wi-Fi interactive Hello Barbie in 2015. Although Aristotle didn’t come to market, Mr. Steyer is concerned about the next version. It will look like a toy – placed inside a cute teddy bear. In 2018, some security issues were found there, followed shortly by either researchers or hackers.
Beyond Privacy Concern
Beyond the privacy concerns, the director of the MIT Institute of Technology and Self and author of “Reclaiming Conversation” – Sherry Turkle, said the progression of advanced products with humanlike abilities could harm young minds. This is not an anti-technology position. It is a particular kind of technology that pretends empathy. It says a lot about the technology evolution – how far we have gone through the path of those things.
The co-author of the American Academy of Pediatrics – Dr. Dimitri Christakis, said in 2016 media guidelines for children under six that constantly technologizing may cause dismaying for childhood. He also believes that it makes a dependency on digital devices.
Dr. Christakis said that he is not a fan of Aristotle. According to the point, he said, forming of good habits youth make all the difference.
At the beginning of infancy, besides needing the warmth of human interaction, children and learning to soothe or entertain and be alone instead of the constant presence of digitization.
Apart from all, I’m glad that there was sufficient evolution in technology, bringing lots of changes in such things in the upcoming future. Lastly, it’s all for now. If you have enjoyed to read it, then share the article. Follow the website for further updates that will amaze you. We’ll come back with another new topic. If you have something to tell or ask, comment below.