Today’s younger generations never knew a time without technology. From using the Internet to owning their own smartphones, technology has helped shape them into who they are today. And with AI technology, like Amazon’s Alexa, becoming more and more popular, this too will soon have a massive impact on younger generations.
Around the world, AI technology is being found in more households. Virtual assistants are helping homeowners remember grocery lists, helping kids with their homework, and even helping to control aspects of a home. But children, in particular, are seeing some of the biggest benefits of using devices like Alexa.
Researchers have found that these devices have the potential to help children develop and practice their communication and interaction skills. By asking questions and giving “commands”, children can explore their communication abilities. Additionally, there is no screen technology involved, which kids are getting plenty of nowadays. Despite the fact that regular play is essential for the development of at least 400 genes in childrens’ cerebral cortexes, many children spend a lot of their time in front of screens.
While these AI devices can be beneficial to children, parents are responsible for making decisions on using this type of technology. Many parents have expressed concerns about their children using these devices, but companies, like Amazon, have taken efforts to reassure them that the devices are kid-friendly.
In fact, Amazon recently announced a new Alexa feature that will allow Alexa to thank children for being polite. This feature is in response to consumers who expressed concerns about rudely commanding Alexa and having her respond. So now, children will be rewarded for asking Alexa questions politely.
“As there is a surge in children’s use of gadgets that respond to verbal commands we may see them learning ways of communicating that then slip into their interactions with humans,” said Simon Leggett, research director at Childwise. “Will children become accustomed to saying and doing whatever they want to a digital assistant ‘do this, do that’ – talking as aggressively or rudely as they like without any consequences?”
With this Magic Word feature, children will hopefully speak to Alexa as they would a human being: politely and respectfully.
And it’s not just households investing in this new technology. Companies around the world are investing in AI, RFID, and other technology to help further growth. In fact, a 2016 Peerless Research Group study found that 38% of companies had plans to invest in RFID technology within the next year. By using this new technology, companies can implement new processes with ease.
While having AI technology in households remains a controversial topic, companies are taking measures to ensure their customers feel safe and comfortable with these devices. And if children can learn manners from these devices, that’s one more positive thing they can help with.