Smart Toys .6

Long ago, we kids loved to play with toys.  Even though toys couldn’t talk to us, we still had a pretty good imagination as to what they would say to us.  Well that was in the past.  With today’s technology, toys can now talk to us.  That’s right, a toy that can be your new best friend.  Well almost; with the toys like robot dogs or Barbies, they can now talk to whoever talks to them.  Wonder how they work, very simple.  A child can say “Hello” to the toy, the toy then captures what the kid says and transfers it to a computer server through wifi.  It then process it through an algorithm and returns a reply back to the kid.  Interesting enough, it is in the toy Hello Barbie and I am sure it is in other toys at the toy store.  These smart toys are a new generation toys.  Sounds a bit creepy that a toy can talk to you, but it is the future in toys.  In some toys, they are able to use AI powered engines to use speech recognition tools and understand conversation.  Not every toy can talk on its own.  Crazy enough, some of them are still in the work in progress but we are getting to that stage where the toy can communicate like other humans.  One thing that is interesting is that if one toy manufacturers do this AI tech, then more toy companies might have to transfer over and get on with the new technology.  These toys so far are for ages 3-9 and in a way can be beneficial to kids.

For me, I wish we had this back then, but it is interesting to see where this leads to.  Hopefully one day these toys won’t have to rely on computer servers and have a mind of its own.  I am very interested to see what toys they use to turn it into an AI toy.

Right now, there have been ethical issues with some of the AI toys.  For the same example, the Barbie toys have had privacy issues.  Some people have claimed it violates the right to privacy for children 13 and below.  And a Google teddy bear was quoted a creepy internet toy.  In a way, it can be kind of creepy so I am interested as to how they will solve this issues.  The most common one is privacy because these toys can be a camera toy spy in a way.  These toys can be very technically advanced that it can record or do things inside people’s houses and upload to the internet.  But to what I see, I still think there is lots of room to improve even though this is just the beginning.

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3 thoughts on “Smart Toys .6

  1. Very interesting topic! you say that these toys are only limited to children. However, I think if anything they can be for all ages. There must be other types of toys that can be for older, or even possibly younger to help teach young children on important concepts at that age. Also, i agree that we probably arent ready as a society to truly let children have this type of responsibility. Especially, with the huge privacy issues of internet technology (i.e. spying) in this world. But I feel once we get through that as a planet, we will grow exponentially in ways we could never imagine.

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  2. Darren,
    The idea of talking toys has been around for many years. I still have a DW doll (you know the little sister from the Arthur cartoon) that I got as a gift when I was 3-4 years old. You press her hands, ears & feet & she can play Simon says and other games with you, as well as say simple phrases. She was even programmed with my birthday, and on my special day she sings to me “Happy Birthday, it’s your day and you’re one year older!” Since I’m a grown woman now, I only turn her on during my day of birth. The idea of toys talking back is new to me, though. Kids in this generation are entertained by AI gadgets. The age where they get a cell phone is getting younger and younger. I agree that children should be monitored when using these toys and technology because of the dangers and privacy issues but on the other hand, I’m sure our parent’s had some concerns with the talking toys of our generation.

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  3. I would buy this toy for my niece and nephew but I agree with you that privacy is the main concern. You never know what the toy can listen and send it to their server. Noted that children can bring their toy everywhere in the house, so even if only kids using it, it can listen to everyone conversation.

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