Co-Parenting With Alexa

from NYTs

You are going to have a chance to play with Alexa,” I told my daughter, Grace, who’s 3 years old. Pointing at the black cylindrical device, I explained that the speaker, also known as the Amazon Echo, was a bit like Siri but smarter. “You can ask it anything you want,” I said nonchalantly.

Grace leaned forward toward the speaker. “Hello, Alexa, my name is Gracie,” she said. “Will it rain today?” The turquoise rim glowed into life. “Currently, it is 60 degrees,” a perky female voice answered, assuring her it wouldn’t rain.

Over the next hour, Grace figured out she could ask Alexa to play her favorite music from the film “Sing.” She realized Alexa could tell jokes, do math or provide interesting facts. “Hey, Alexa, what do brown horses eat?” And she soon discovered a whole new level of power. “Alexa, shut up,” she barked, then looked a little sheepish and asked me if it was O.K. to be rude to her. So she thought the speaker had feelings?

By the next morning, Alexa was the first “person” Grace said hello to as she bounded into the kitchen wearing her pink fluffy dressing gown. My preschooler who can’t yet ride a bike or read a book had also quickly mastered that she could buy things with the bot’s help, or at least try to.

“Alexa, buy me blueberries,” she commanded. Grace, of course, had no idea that Amazon, the world’s biggest retailer, was the corporate behemoth behind the helpful female assistant, and that smoothing the way when it came to impulse buys was right up Alexa’s algorithmic alley.

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88 Responses to Co-Parenting With Alexa

  1. Valerie Dorsett October 12, 2017 at 2:42 pm #

    When we were younger, we used to only view robots on the television. Shows like “The Jetson’s” would show us the future with robots being used to or advantage. Today, we are not at that much of an advanced stage yet, but we are beginning to make robots available for the public. Many people have an Apple IPhone, which uses Siri, so since everyone is used to using “her,” why not add a robot into family’s homes. Amazon has become a very well known company over the years. They have recently released the Amazon Echo, which they call Alexa. Alexa is a robot who you can talk to and she will provide you with answers. Some people prefer this so that way they ca ask questions hands-free, unlike Siri and she can be used by the whole family. The article, “Co-Parenting with Alexa,” by Rachel Botsman explains how Alexa has affected her family.

    Alexa, in the beginning can be very fun to talk to because it is always interesting to try out some new technology. Rachel decided to buy Alexa for her house and let her daughter Grace, who is only 3 years old to try her out. She adds how over the length of an hour Grace discovered that Alexa can tell jokes, play music, and is very smart by answering all of her questions. The main thing that is concerning about this is that when Grace told Alexa to “shut up” she looked at her mother in a shy way as if it was rude to say that to Alexa. Alexa is only a machine but to young kids who are using her they may see her as a friend. The article even says, “by the next morning, Alexa was the first ‘person’ Grace said hello to as she bounded into the kitchen…” instead of saying hello to her mother who is an actual person. I have Alexa in my household as well, but I rarely ever ask her anything unless my phone is not around because of habit. Personally, I think Alexa is mainly for older people who are not that familiar with how technology works and it is easier for them to just speak rather than look something up, and for little kids.

    For years, we have used technology to our advantage as in dishwashers, ATMs, and washing and drying machines. However, with the Amazon Echo by giving this machine the name Alexa, it creates a more personal relationship, which should not be happening. Botsman explains how over time her daughter starts to ask Alexa questions about what outfit she should be wearing even though Alexa cannot see her. How far will our trust go with these new robots? Amazon is releasing a newer version of Alexa that has a camera and screen so that way she can judge your outfit. However, this scares me. Sometimes my family will be sitting at the kitchen table and in the middle of a conversation Alexa will say something or play music out of nowhere. She will randomly turn on by herself, which gets me wondering if she is listening even when we do no voice activate her. With this new feature of adding a camera, who knows when the camera will turn on? It most likely will sometimes without your permission. Hacks are also common at the moment, which means that it is also likely that in the future, Alexa may be a target for hackers to get into.

    Kids are growing up not questioning anything that they are told. According to the article, “Almost 80 percent of the children thought Alexa would always tell the truth,” which is not something that we should have kids believe. Alexa receives her information from the internet that can be altered by outside sources. Kids may also be asking questions that they should not have the knowledge of understanding yet. I know that there was a video of Alexa that was trending after a little boy asked Alexa to play something. She misunderstood and brought up a station for porn, which in response his parents were quickly yelling at Alexa to stop. Alexa can be fun to use form time to time, but I do not believe that co-parenting with Alexa should be a thing. Rachel’s daughter Grace gave over all of her trust to Alexa very quickly and I am afraid that as technology advances situations will only get worse.

    • Danielle Gangemi November 1, 2017 at 3:32 pm #

      Overtime, technology is progressively becoming more popular and people are becoming more reliant on it. Generations that follow are going to be dependent on technology and robots and learn to lean on them more than humans. According to the article, a parent conducted a small experiment on their child to see how quickly the three year old interacted with the Amazon device, Alexa. The three year old, Grace, quickly started to form a relationship with the robot and started to develop her questions from the weather to what she should wear. Over a short time span, Grace realized that she could ask the device nearly anything and she would quickly know all of the answers. The problem is that the questions young children are asking this technology should be questions directed at parents. At one point Grace yelled for Alexa to shut up then proceeded to ask her parent if it was okay to be rude to her as if it had feelings. Not even 24 hours later, Grace woke up and Alexa was the first person she would say hello to in the morning. She even learned that she could purchase items through the technology.

      The parent was shocked by the results because now people form relationships with technology. Instead of using technology to do something people are using it to decide what to do and when to do it. Future generations will grow up with devices much more advanced than an Alexa and it will help them make daily life decisions. It is hard to tell when trusting a robot has gone too far. Only two days into the experiment, Grace started asking Alexa life decisions like what she should wear out of her two dress choices. Shockingly, new technology called the Echo Look, was introduced that has a camera attached and is linked to new fashion trends in order to pick out the best choice. People need to remember that Alexa is just a cylindrical piece of metal that comes in a black box. Following generations are going to have a closer connection to robots than ever before and will find their information helpful and satisfying. Some think that Alexa would never lie and that it could learn new things. The issue is teaching children not to put all of their trust into technology and as a result of the parents’ findings they retired the Alexa.

      People already put too much trust into technology and at the end of the day no one is sure what is stored and what is not stored. There have been cases on Alexa, specifically about the technology listening in on conversations and recording data when the device should not be listening. Businesses are impacted by this technology because Alexa is a popular device that quickly was distributed everywhere. Everyday consumers are looking to find the most advanced technology that is offered on the market and companies are always competing to introduce the next big thing. Over the next generations, technology is going to become more advanced and people are going to rely more on robots than ever before and they will ultimately replace humans. In order to slow down the take over of technology, people need to pay attention and teach their children the dangers of putting too much trust into robots and how to make life decisions on their own.

  2. Shemar Givens October 12, 2017 at 5:33 pm #

    This article just goes to show how overtime how technology is able progress so much. Just from just these simple tasks the young child was asking, she doesn’t know much due to her age. The way technology is able to guide us in certain situations is pretty incredible. She wasn’t asking for anything crazy, just what she knew to her knowledge.

    I can relate to this topic because there’s times I ask Siri on my iPhone particular questions that I may not know. The device is able to us to outlets that further our ability to understand whatever it is we want to know. Being able expand horizons with more additional information is amazing. It forces us to want to keep researching to see what else we can find and learn. Having a device that can do this for beats the best of both worlds. Technology continues to develop and it’s help to lead and help our youth at an early age.

  3. Nicholas Kerins October 13, 2017 at 11:55 am #

    How much technology intervention is too much? This questions as well as many others are explored in the article “Co- Parenting with Alexa” by Rachel Botsman. This New York times article on how Alexa, amazon’s AI household robot affected Rachel’s morning routine. Alexa which was introduced in 2015 has changed households forever. Having an AI straight out of the movies tell you the weather and allow you to buy goods off amazon makes life more convenient but as Rachel learned at a cost. Since she introduced Alexa to her three-year-old daughter Grace, Grace became very comfortable with Alexa and has incorporated it into her routine. This is both good and bad. Keeping up with technology is essential. So many fields and aspects of life are being invaded by technology and unless we become informed on what they are we will fall behind. But how young is too young, Grace at three was already trying to buy food online and asking Alexa for fashion advice. If the younger generation continues to supplement human interaction and problem solving for AI intervention, how will that affect social interaction and their growth overall? I personally don’t own any AI systems like Alexa. I don’t own a smart TV, refrigerator, or nest home system. These items would make my life more convenient, but how necessary is having a camera in my refrigerator. The article ends when Grace begins to depend on Alexa for life advice. This is when Rachel retires Alexa to the closet because she was beginning to replace her motherly duties. Technology and AI is working at its best when the user is still in control and has self-identity. It may not have gotten that bad with Grace as she is three, but you never know we can’t let technology complete all our human functions and allow It to think and feel for us.
    It’s interesting to see how people use technology in their daily life and to what extent, do they have all the smart devices to limit the thinking they do during the day? Others who commented on this article shared similar thoughts on where to draw the line. They pointed out how giving the technology a human name such as Alexa is forcing us to have personal relationship with our technology which is unhealthy. Maybe if we gave it a number or named it after an inanimate object it would better the way we see technology in our life, not as a friend but as a tool.

  4. Li Zonghao October 13, 2017 at 1:09 pm #

    As Amazon expands its into food and and furniture industries with its acquisition of Whole Foods and furniture as its most fastest growing category, it doesn’t seem like the Seattle based company will be stopping its rapid growth anytime soon. Surely, it doesn’t come as a surprise that Amazon is trying to provide home consultation services to boost sales of its Echo series powered by Alexa.
    While we can see quickly take the benefits of new technology at surface level, it may be hard to see its impact on society. The implications of new technology is always hard to decide and will be because there is no historical data to back up predictions. This may pose as a problem to the public as the dangers to using new technology may be extremely nuanced and will not appear until too late. Similar to how new guidance technology such as the GPS fostered the fear of being overly reliant on machines (Terminator and Matrix), the new “smart” devices like Alexa take it a step further and transfer traditionally human responsibilities to machines.
    For example, the transfer of responsibility has already happened on a small scale with Tesla’s auto driving cars and self driving trucks. At this rate, will machines even take over parenting?
    New York Times article “Co-Parenting with Alexa” seems to support this possibility as it provides an anecdote about how the author’s daughter trusts Alexa to pick her clothes over his fashion sense. This can be a worrying trend for conservatives as there is the possibility that children may trust devices more can be susceptible to messages distributed to hacked machines. For example, the recent Equifax hack shows how vulnerable technology is in the face of a coordinated, malicious attack. The possibility is even scarier from this point on. If the government database Equifax can be hacked, then what is a small Alexa device to malicious hackers? When we factor not only our reliance on device, but also the gullible nature of children around these devices, a recipe for great disaster is formed.
    Furthermore, seeing as the law system functions mainly with stare decisis and adheres to previous judgements, it may be doubly hard for laws to patch loopholes as vulnerabilities increase. It may be hard for existing infrastructure to match the pace of highly transforming technology. When we add the possibility of weaponry on machines such as drones, the situation gets even messier as weapons of destruction may be compromised and fall into wrong hands. With ISIS and the most recent Las Vegas shooting, terrorism is on the rise and therefore, it is of utmost importance to protect sensitive equipment from falling into the wrong hands.
    If you think the gun debate is bad, here’s more food for thought: when major parts of our lives are integrated with technologies that are vulnerable to hacking, what will the crime and homicide rate be like? Just like with the gun debate, the right to bear arms as protected in the Constitution has two sides to it. On the one hand, the right to bear arms can protect and deter attackers. On the other hand, the right to bear arms and the ease at which deranged individuals can get mass-killing weapons cause tragedies such as the Las Vegas shooting.
    As new technology arises and our society changes, we must cease to consider the implications of such technology. Because if we do, it may be too late.

  5. Rebecca Hu October 13, 2017 at 2:08 pm #

    This article published in New York Times discuss the new A. I. speaker Amazon released recently. Alexa which is basically a speaker and inside a black cylinder there is a chip which is linked with artificial intelligence. The artificial intelligence chip inside allows people to interact with this “Alexa”. With the development of Alexa there is also google home and other devices aim to make your home smarter. Alexa or Google Home can be your personal assistance to remind you your schedule, play music or do weather forecast. It changes what we use to do on our devices or paper with our hands, to doing everything with vocal commands.
    I remember on YouTube there are many videos on improving your home to a smarter and better one. We have entered an age where lightbulbs, TV, speaker can all be linked together on our mobile device or to A.I. such as Alexa. This scenario we can only see on the big screen from Hollywood, the home of future. Now it seems as all those technology can be purchased and installed in your home. The younger generations are more leaning towards to improve technology in the household, I know a few friends around me have already purchased Alexa to “improve” their home.
    The article focuses on the A.I. Alexa and the interaction of the author’s daughter Grace. Where only through a few interactions with Alexa, Grace is fully trusting Alexa and believe she is another person. According to the study mentioned: “almost 80 percent of the children thought Alexa would always tell the truth.” Children does not have the knowledge and experience we have, they do not understand the concept of artificial intelligence. They are still at a stage of learning and categorizing them into friendly people. They cannot understand the idea that Alexa is just an algorithm, a bunch of codes written by humans. Children thinks that Alexa is a friend of theirs, the article raised a good question regarding artificial intelligence. “Should we trust robots? DO we trust them too much?
    The A.I. just list facts and information from the internet, first glance we might think by directly providing us useful information it makes our life more convenient. However, by using information provided by A.I. we are also losing the ability to collect and use critical thinking to collect information. We will rely more and more on technology such as A.I. to provide people with answers. From my understanding the major difference between elementary school and university is at university you are being tested and your ability to think for solutions. While at elementary we accept facts to build knowledge. We have been trying for decades to emphasis on the art of critical thinking, the ability to gather information and process it in to useful information to the individual. With the development of technology, we feel our lives are much more convenient because we don’t have to think. Seems it’s ironic, where we have engineers to design programs with the aim to improve the wellbeing of life and society. Yet, it seems like we are just allowing our brains to shut down and accept facts as given.
    We are being fed with information by technology. Now A.I. such as Alpha Go are undefeatable, winning matches over top players in the world. We seem to be amazed with technology development, we are trusting technology too much. Think about the election last year in America, we trust the sources on Facebook and internet which indicate there are signs of being hacked. My favorite argument I like to mention, everything have two sides. We are emphasizing too much on the bright side of technology we are only focused on the positive improvements in life. However, we seem to ignore the negative effects that can result from technology. We are the first generation to have access to technology 80% of our life, think about the generation after us. Grow up surrounded by technology and this trend will only be growing. Kids on the street don’t play with a ball anymore instead, they are looking down into their devices. Talking does not involve face to face interaction, people text each other without emotions. We should question ourselves, is this what we want the future generation to live with? It should be the time where parents, schools and society realize that this is a problem.

  6. Andre Bakhos October 13, 2017 at 2:27 pm #

    A new trend in the world of technology is coming into play, that of interactive personal assistants. This area of machinery is seeing great strides in its development over the years, as it becomes more popular with its users, and sees use that is more practical in day-to-day life. Corporate giants such as Google, Samsung, Apple, and most recently, Amazon, are pouring an increased amount of resources into the research and development of interactive personal assistants. For many years, Apple ruled this market after the implementation of Siri into their iPhone 4GS. Siri could call people, answer questions, take notes, and help people with disabilities navigate their mobile device. Google and Samsung followed suit with their “Hey Google” and “S-Voice,” respectively. All of the personal assistants previously mentioned were only accessible by mobile device, but Amazon changed the game by releasing their at home assistant, Alexa.
    Mobile interactive assistants such as the ones fielded by Apple, Samsung, and Google, are more focused on providing quick support throughout the day, answering a question, setting a reminder, or sending a message to one of the contacts on your device. Alexa, however, is used not only to perform the tasks that the mobile assistants are created for, but also to shop for its user, find recipes, give judgement on outfits, and many more tools that are useful to their owners.
    One of the benefits to a machine such as Amazon’s Alexa is how it can take a simple, general question such as “How to cook pasta,” and output a response that details nearly everything you need to know about the subject matter. If Alexa can not find the answer to your question, she will provide you the resources on how to find the answer that you are looking for. This removes a learning curve on how to use the machine, as you do not have to say specific phrases to trigger an answer. For example, if you wanted to know the weather for the day, you do not have to ask “What is the weather for today.” If you so please, you can say “Yo Alexa, is it gonna rain today?” and she will respond with the weather, being able to decipher precisely what you wish to know. This can be very beneficial to children who wish to use the device as well, as their developing brains do not have the ability to state questions simply. Their thoughts are often scattered, and they need to be understood by something with a greater ability to understand.
    Putting an Alexa in a child’s room could help entertain them when a parent is busy, acting as a friend or companion to a lonely child. Because it is able to play music on command, a child could listen to their favorite songs while they play without the need for an adult to help them. Children crave attention, and are often fascinated by new technology, so Alexa would be a great addition to a household with small children who like interaction.
    A child’s interaction with Alexa is not limited to the household, but can eventually be brought into the classroom setting. One of the Alexa devices could be programmed to help aid a teacher demonstrate a specific lesson, helping to add a few facts, or answering in depth questions that a teacher could not answer. Including them in a school library, at the resource desk, could aid students who wish to find the location a specific book or where to find a certain genre of books. Alexa could also help find information needed for a research paper.
    The extent to which Alexa and other interactive personal assistants could help society and children grow and develop. The critics of implementing these types of devices into society, most likely do not understand the benefits that they can bring to the table, and how they can aid in the development of our children. The world is progressing, and more technology will be needed to ensure that our children are progressing as well, and what better device to accomplish this than something that interacts with them in an engaging manner? Alexa and other interactive personal assistants are the future.

  7. Greg D'Ottavi October 13, 2017 at 4:25 pm #

    Technology is evolving at an alarming speed in today’s society and for the most part, there is no telling how it will affect society in the years to come. The generation that follows my own, and the one after that is being raised in a world in which technology dominates. Every aspect of everyday life is affected in some way by technology and this is something that the world has never seen before. This article puts a focus on how technology is playing a role in the lives of children as they are learning and growing with it directly by their side. Specifically, the article discusses Amazon’s interactive assistant Alexa, similar to Apple’s Siri. Products like Alexa are the first steps towards bigger and more intelligent artificial intelligence devices. AI is something that has become very realistic, as more and more companies are developing devices that use “machine learning”. In a world that has machines operating and sounding like humans, there is some interesting challenges that may arise.
    The author of the article talks about how her 3-year-old daughter has been interacting with Alexa. Interestingly enough, the child enjoyed interacting with the machine and began to treat it as if it were an actual human. This is something that caught my attention as I realized how children are now being raised in a world where technology plays more than just the role of an efficient machine, but rather it can almost pose as a “friend”. A child cannot wrap its mind around what really makes a machine like Alexa work, so they will assume it is what it sounds like, a human. Obviously, something like Alexa does not look like a human, but essentially, to a child of 3-years-old or one that is in the beginning stages of learning, Alexa seems very real. As long as he or she is able to ask it the same questions they may ask a parent and receive the same answer, there is no obstacle between machine and reality.
    As someone who was partially raised in this technological age, I feel as though I have a much better grip on these never-ending innovations. Though my life revolves around the 6 x 3 inch computer that I carry around in my pocket all day, I feel as though I still have some connection to a life without cell phones. I am grateful for the eases technology supplies on a regular basis, but I have a strong belief that there needs to be a cut-off. If all of children begin to lose touch with reality and start to become consumed by technology, then I do not believe it is beneficial.
    The article wraps up by saying that today’s children and their children to follow are going to need to be educated on when it is appropriate to put trust in computers. I feel that this is one of the most important statements about the future of our society. If we are going to continue to innovate and create new technology, then the people who are going to be interacting with it need to be educated. There needs to be a clear-cut distinction between reality and artificial interaction because if not, society may find itself in a very scary place. According to a study discussed in the article, “Almost 80 percent of children thought Alexa was always telling the truth.” If almost 80 percent of children are not educated on how systems like Alexa operate, technology will reign supreme. It seems somewhat ridiculous to think that technology will takeover in a sort of Terminator-esque society, but AI is very real and the limitations of technology should be assessed sooner than later.

  8. Meghan Healy October 13, 2017 at 5:01 pm #

    It is no secret that technology has aided us in ways that we would have never thought imaginable. Computers and smartphones help us to do tasks faster than manual labor would. As a result, we have reached the point where we heavily depend on machines to do most of our work for us. From computers to washing machines, technology has undoubtedly made our lives easier. It was only a matter of time before we formed emotional connections with our devices, to the point where these robots make decisions for us. As described in the article, the author’s 3 year old daughter, Grace, quickly formed a relationship with the Amazon Echo, named Alexa. She trusted this robot to answer her questions and help her make decisions, such as what to do that day or which dress to wear. She also thought she hurt Alexa’s feelings when she told her to shut up. In the mind of this toddler, Alexa was a human. What makes this device different from a human? In short, nothing. At this point, who needs human interaction when you have Alexa?

    With every new technological advancement that comes out, more people start to question at what point will we stop technology from completely invading our lives. If you have to say “Alexa” every time you want the device to respond, then she must be listening to everything you say. I have lost count of the number of times I have said the word “serious” out loud and Siri has gone off on my phone. These devices are constantly turned on with the ability to hear our every word. We have also reached the point where not only can these robots hear everything we say, but now they can see us. The new Echo Look features a hands-free selfie camera. Now this device is equipped with a camera that can watch our every move. As if that was not enough, the feature can also judge our outfits to help us decide which is better. In addition, it stores the pictures it takes of you in the Amazon Web Services. Not only are our images stored in databases belonging to Facebook, Snapchat, etc., they are now stored in a database belonging to Amazon. Even after you delete them, the pictures inevitably live on the Internet forever. Our digital footprint is only growing with every technological advancement.

    With the Echo Look’s new ability to comment on our outfits and help us decide which would be the better option for the day, the author is worried about how her toddler would receive judgement from Alexa. We already receive judgement from technology through social media, with people judging the pictures we post or the things we say. Everything we do is subject to judgement and critique, both in the real world and online. Only now, it is the actually technology judging us rather than a human. The 3 year old handed her trust over to Alexa very quickly. It is only a matter of time before we trust technology too much. As older generations like to say, the world will soon be taken over by robots. And, apparently, they are not wrong.

    In the end of the last paragraph, the author very briefly mentions that Alexa is slowly taking over her job as a parent. Alexa teaching Grace how to make decisions should be the author’s – Grace’s mother – job. We already rely on devices to make our lives easier. Some parents might take that extra step of depending on their Alexa to ultimately parent their child. While the device’s camera can only do so much, the adult would still have to physically watch their kid. However, we have sadly reached that day and age where some might rely on Alexa to teach their children those important life skills of making decisions and building relationships – even if that relationship is with an inanimate object. Most parents are using educational apps on tablets to help their children learn to read and write. What is stopping parents from going the extra mile and having their devices take over their role as a parent?

  9. Nicholas Birchby October 13, 2017 at 6:18 pm #

    We live in an ever changing world, where we see new pieces of technology released seemingly everyday. One of the newer inventions was the Amazon Echo, which comes equipped with a computer AI system that can hold conversation and answer questions, similar to Siri. However, Alexa, the name of the AI system, is much smarter than Siri. This article demonstrates the dangers of using this kind of technology with children. The basis of the technology is an algorithm developed by Amazon, designed to search the web to answer questions. It also has another use. There is a version of the Amazon Echo that can see what you are wearing, and provide you with fashion advice to keep up with the latest trends. I think this is completely ridiculous. This device sees the clothes you are wearing, stores the images in an Amazon database, and uses the data to try and sell you clothing. What is stopping this device from telling me I need new clothes everyday just so Amazon can trick me into buying more clothes from them. According to the article, the child talking to Alexa began attempting to buy items from Alexa, meaning buy them from Amazon, within one day of using the Amazon Echo. Amazon does this to expand their clothing lines. It is a marketing strategy that practically forces the customer into seeing more clothes. In the future, household interactive items will most likely become more frequent as more companies begin to manufacture similar items. Currently, we see things such as Siri and Alexa in speakers and cell phones. However, who knows what will happen in the next twenty years. Maybe homes will begin to be built with a computer AI system in the home. Maybe your voice will be able to alter the temperature, or have your AI system turn off the lights. The possibilities to this technology is endless. Perhaps in the future we will have robotic nurses and doctors in all hospitals, who can accomplish tasks faster and more efficient than ever before. This new interactive technology can pave the way for millions of new inventions that could change our lives. This is only the beginning of these AI systems. Personally, I have used the Amazon Echo before, and I have spoken to Alexa. It truly is fascinating to have a conversation with a little black box, it sounds amazing and really does work incredibly efficiently. It would be absolutely amazing to see this new technology transform into the way of the future. Imagine going into dunkin donuts and speaking to a AI Robot, who upon your order, could have your drink made in seconds. Ideally, this does not turn into I Am Robot with Will Smith, but we will pretend that won’t happen. AI technology could be the next true revolutionary idea that changes how people live their lives. Everywhere from your home to your car and cell phone will eventually have some sort of robotic personality that can interact with you and answer your questions. The iPhone was the last truly great invention that changed how people live. Every aspect of someone’s life is in their iPhone. These kinds of things do not come around often, but they always leave a huge impact on society. It is going to be incredibly interesting to see how this new technology transforms in the decades to come.

  10. VM October 13, 2017 at 6:31 pm #

    This post provoked a lot of thought and questions as I read it. Each time I started a new paragraph I had a different opinion. I believe I can see both sides of this post. One side being the truth that maybe such devices like “Alexa” aren’t great for children due to the fact that they don’t know “who” and what to trust just yet. But then again, thats exactly the point, they don’t know yet.

    I personally think that certain devices and certain technologies that are being developed and put into the market today are a little over board. I have an “Alexa” myself and I do this it has it’s perks but as mentioned in the post, I believe the Echo Look is a little much. This is just another step in the direction of eventually eliminating almost all human to human interaction. Yes, it’s fun at first I’m sure to watch young children interact and test the capabilities but I do agree, it can eventually become too much for a child to rely on. A child should be making decisions for themselves or going to their parents or siblings, especially at a young age, for opinions. Not technology. Humans have multiple views and opinions, technology spits back out an answer it’s programed to say rather than actually knowing and being in the situation and evaluating it properly.

    To defend the other side of the argument that I believe also holds true, is that these children are just that, children. They don’t know yet who and what to trust. They thrive off of their innocence. They truly believe although it’s not a real live human that if the device is speaking to then, it’s a person. I think in a sense it’s up to the parent. If they don’t want their child being exposed to the depths of the answers the device can provide or want their children forming attachments to technology they simply don’t have to have it around. Or in turn don’t have to show it or teach it to their children. This device can surely co-parent in a sense of teaching children songs, letters, and even how to read, BUT it shouldn’t be relied on nor trusted to co-parent in regards to things such as emotions and choices.

  11. Ryan McFadden October 13, 2017 at 6:58 pm #

    Co-parenting with Alexa is a scary idea, even if it is only an experiment and temporary. What is scary is exactly what grace did after a few days, trusted Alexa with even the most important decisions for a 3 year old, what to wear that day. As we know children pick up on how to use technology extremely quickly. When my nephew was 2 he was already watching videos on my sisters phone and tablet without any help navigating to them. Yes, these skills are and will be essential to them in their education and life, having children this young use this technology without being watched closely by an adult is extremely dangerous. As I see it this danger comes in 3 different categories, 1. using the technology as it is intended, 2. the company owning the material shows them or tells them what they want to tell them, finally is the scariest and worst of all criminal hackers.

    First the idea of children using the technology as it is intended. As the article says, the second day of use Grace wakes up and says, “‘Alexa, buy me blueberries,’ she commanded.” This is how the technology is designed to be used, not by a 3 year old, however. What happens if Grace walks into the room and asks Alexa to buy a toy that she saw on a T.V. commercial? How much is she going to spend on toys or other items without the parent knowing. The other issue here is now we have a 3 year old depending on a machine to make decisions for her. This could potentially stunt critical thinking skills, create an unhealthy dependance on technology to make decisions and it could create an unhealthy comfort with technology. This unhealthy comfort could be taken advantage of later on down the line by things or people in the next 2 topics I will discuss.

    Secondly, the company owning the software used by Alexa could skew the child’s view of the world or even teach them wrong information. Imagine a child whose family are gun owners and the child asks a simple question about guns. If this company is anti gun they could tell the child many different things about guns that are untrue. Especially since many anti-gun people and companies have no clue about guns at all. I am using guns here because it is a hot topic right now and not as the only thing children could be misled on. What if a child comes home from a doctors appointment and received vaccinations. If this company owning the software is anti-vaccination, they could be wrongfully telling the child they will become autistic or vaccinations are bad. There are many different topics where a company could mislead a child, just think about politics in general.

    Finally, the scariest way a child could be harmed by using this technology unsupervised is if hackers, hack the item and begin taking advantage of the child. This version of Alexa has a camera in it, a sexual predator could use this to their advantage to spy on the child, or could use it to get the child to do what they want. In an article from ABC 33 in Springfield, MO hackers are targeting children through their toys. “Now that technology is such a big part of our life and it’s in everything and everywhere you are I think that people are figuring out ways like the teddy bears to track and do harmful things.” http://www.kspr.com/content/news/Experts-say-hackers-targeting-your-childs-toys-422839434.html If they are targeting them through their toys, there is no doubt a hacker will try and succeed in hacking items such as Alexa to target children.

    These reasons are exactly why parents and guardians should be watching their children as close as possible when using technology. While children of today and the future will need these skills to compete in the future work environment, these skills need to be learned along with the safety aspect under the close watch of a responsible adult.

  12. Jimmy Bedoya October 13, 2017 at 7:44 pm #

    Artificial Intelligence has always presented itself as something either good or bad. Since the introduction of advanced technology and even the industrialization, people have either loved the thought of evolving as a world or feared their replacement by these machines. Some have loved the concept of improving traveling, communicating, and living by technology, while others have dwelled on the fact that these same improvements have caused a negative impact on both employment rates and the environment. Whatever your stance might be, technology is here to stay and its newest feat is Artificial Intelligence. Artificial Intelligence is the intelligent behavior by machines in which they perceive their environment and learn from trial and error to maximize their rate of success. For example, an artificial intelligence program known as AlphaGo was created to become the best machine that can play the complex board game known as Go, and it did. Initially playing itself and other “Go”-playing programs, AlphaGo went on to play the best players in the world, becoming not only the best machine to play the game but the best player in the whole world. This, however, would not have happened if it were not for its ability to learn from all its mistakes and all the possible moves from the games played. This is the prime example of what Artificial Intelligence is meant to do. Like humans, learn from experience, and as a result become far more successful. The fear however still stands in the fact that like anything else, artificial intelligence is subject to corruption.

    On NewYorkTimes.com, a recent post to the Sunday review section raised, even more, controversy on the topic of artificial intelligence. The author had come to a realization of how modern generations were interacting with machines. Their interaction methods regarded treating and speaking to these machines like they were people. Whether consulting or conversing, the author had realized people were not just trusting machines to do something, but trusting them to decide what they would personally do and when they would do it. The author then concluded that the question was no longer if people should trust machines but if people were trusting machines too much. According to a study conducted by M.I.T, 80 percent of children thought A.I devices would tell the truth and some of them believed the machines were capable of learning something if they were taught it. In short, almost all children believed the machines to be like ordinary people. With the advancements of technology, the author believes it is now within people’s best interest to educate their children on the essence of technology. Since the technology for many children will be crucial to their growth and success, it is important for them to understand their limitations, benefits, and significance. I agree with the author in the sense that humanity now finds itself in a world surrounded by technology and thus parents must make sure they are teaching their kids correctly. The author raises an important issue where many A.I devices, are altered to work in favor for the company who produced it, signifying that these devices will be inclined to try to suggest things for you to do or purchase that will benefit the company. Therefore, it is important for kids to understand that these products are machines with an agenda that records all information, including personal things. With information of people already at the hands of hackers due to Equifax hack, people must start being more careful with their information. Children must learn to not trust these machines with too much information and understand that they are machines and not people. Trusting these machines with decisions will lead to a negative effect on the judgment of children and decrease critical thinking skills. To avoid having an uninformed and naïve society, children must be educated properly on the importance of technology.

  13. Shiyun Ye October 13, 2017 at 8:26 pm #

    Alexa is the latest Amazon intelligent robot that can respond to people’s questions. It is similar to Siri but more advanced. The author made an experiment on her daughter to see how long it would take to make the children fully trust an intelligent robot on making their own decisions and the result comes out pretty surprising: it only takes her daughter three days to ask the robot about her personal questions. With this phenomenon, it raises the topic on how parents should introduce the latest technology to their children without the bad influence. The bad influences indicated in many areas: security, education and business intentions.

    The security issue raised because recently Amazon developed a new feature in Echo, which is called the Echo Look. It helps the user to take a hand-free selfie with only talking to Echo. It is similar to the apple’s face recognition feature, which will record and save the private pictures of the users on the internet server. If the children learned about this feature with their full trust on Alexa, will they take very personal photos of themselves as well as their families? I believe that they probably will do so. Therefore, the serious infringement of privacy will occur and the internet server can be hacked easily.

    Regarding to the education aspect, the children are young and curious for knowing everything. They will ask the things that their parents would not want them to know most of the time but Alexa can give those answers right away. Moreover, Echo is a tool for Amazon to help its retailers on selling goods so it is more like a business instrument instead of latest technology. The business intentions hiding behind is obvious. Even though the motive for inventing new technologies or many other things in life is benefit, people should still be aware of this aspect and do not trust the machines or technologies fully or even rely on them. However, the children do not understand these rules so it becomes difficult for their parents to explain or monitoring the using.

    It also occurs another danger of boosting the motives of impulse buying actions. For those who decide according to their hearts, it exists a large possibility that they will purchase a good that they probably will not need when they receive the information from Alexa. Therefore, this technology is already very influencing in adult’s life, how one can imagine its impact on a child’s daily life! Therefore, as the author stated, the generations after this century would grow up getting used to the accompany of intelligent robot agents. They will even call them by a human name maybe. Personally I feel it is creepy to have a highly functioning or human-like machine who can be called “Amy, Jason” etc because they are still machines. We should not rely on them too much on doing our jobs of thinking and analyzing, even make our own decisions. The robots are created to help us become more efficient instead of crush our ability on completing tasks. Our trust and confidence in machines and technologies should decrease a little nowadays.

  14. Arielle Fortes October 13, 2017 at 8:32 pm #

    In history, humans have made so many different inventions that have continued to shock the generation before them. People have made something that was considered originally to be impossible. No one had thought before the train could take so many people at once and travel so fast on land and could also transport not only people but supplies as well. Then there were cars which people could decide where they wanted to go since they cannot choose a train schedule. Then we had the phone and could connect long distances. Then the phone became something accessible to everyone and computers did as well. Trains became faster and more complicated pieces of machinery, and cars became very high tech devices that were becoming full of safety measure and accessories. Phones that people carried around everywhere now had become more like computers and could give you information when you wanted it, play games, and connect with your friends. These things would be unthinkable in the previous era. Just like every generation the intense technological advances of this era are affecting this generation of children.
    Now, in the year of 2017 technology described as AI technology or simply referred to as technology with artificial intelligence is seeing more use now. Many new product have technology that will answer questions and respond to people when questions are asked to them. There are now items now than ever in household devices and phones. Apple has been using what they call Siri, on most of their devices. They refer to the technology as an intelligent personal assistant. Google another large company has something that they call Google Assistant. This will when on your phone can provide suggestion even when you do not ask. Recently to follow the craze of a type of intelligent assistant, Samsung has released a piece of technology on their phones called Bixby. In addition, Amazon has ‘Alexa’ which is on their amazon echo device. I do believe that having these devices impacts the children that are growing up in a world where technology is becoming more and more advanced as they age. Although we are used to telling the computer what to do or making sure the computer does something such as searching up something on the internet we can now ask certain machines to give us an answer and it will now respond. Having technology like this will definitely change what is considered to be the normal reactions between human and machines. I believe that starting now people will become even more depended on machines and more importantly start to trust what the machine has said. It was interesting to read about how smaller children thought of ‘Alexa’ and how some of them actually considered the machine a person of a sort. If we consider machinery to be a person and if machinery is becoming so detailed that we could actually consider it a person it would definitely be a new way of interacting with machines. If around eighty percent of the children in the study thought that ‘Alexa would tell the truth it shows that they had a certain amount of trust in the machinery and it was advanced enough that it would be considered smarter than they were. In addition thinking about the future possibilities with this type of technology is also interesting. Technology that will actually judge your appearance and give advice is another aspect of the future that would be interesting when it plays out. Overall, I do believe that a generational difference is normal, but the gap will become very large due to the large advances in technology that are occurring right now and will continue to in the future.

  15. Piyush Patel October 13, 2017 at 8:37 pm #

    I actually love talking to Siri sometimes to kill time. I like to ask Siri to tell me a joke or look random things up just because I feel like it. After reading this article I realized that autonomous agents backed by artificial intelligence will be used as a necessity in our lives. Like the author stated we give trust and don’t expect to form a relationship with them. We just want them to do something and do it at a certain time or remind us to do it. It’s almost normal for people my age and it will become even more normal for the generation after me. I actually just saw google home’s new product will have application for kids to learn while playing with the product. I think that because we are giving these systems so much trust it might create a problem like the author states. Especially now that they have cameras and machine learning capabilities. I saw a kickstarter campaign earlier about a robot for security and that they have a similar robot in China’s Shenzhen airport called AnBot. It made headlines when people said there was a suicidal robot that drowned itself. What actually happened is that is malfunction and fell into the fountain water. Which goes to show that we trust it to do an important job patrol an airport and show any risk but that the same time we know its not perfect. In the article the writer talks about the machine learning camera device that Alexa now has to give people fashion advice. Overall I think they can apply the concept to many different functions and it huge advancement in technology. But at the same time I agree with the author in the fact that should we let self-learning robots tell our children what is right to wear because they might now respond well to it. I fell if a personal tells a child their opinion the person can give them a reason why they are telling them such. When a child is told something by a robot and a child doesn’t understand why and feels crushed by its opinion that could cause a problem.
    In the article the writer talks about the M.I.T Media Lab study that really interested me. The part that interested me the most was that 80% of the kids thought that Alexa would always tell the truth and they felt a genuine give and take relationship with the machines. The writer brought up a good point after that study, of how we can teach children to question not only the security and privacy problems but also the ethical and commercial intentions of a device designed by marketers. Kids that young probably don’t understand how advertising works and the marketers probably will be using that to their advantage knowing kids will be talking to these machines without the knowledge that these machines are influenced by them. I personally think I trust technology to much and therefor I do believe it is going to be a problem in the future especially with all the AI devices that will be out .

  16. Chris O'Handley October 13, 2017 at 8:48 pm #

    This article brings up a bunch of interesting points. The progression of technology these days has gone far beyond what people probably imagined just a few decades ago. As Botsman says, we used to rely on machines to do a specific job, nothing more. Now, as technology continues we find ourselves asking much more of these machines and even task them with making decisions on their own. This realization is a little bit eye-opening. We are placing a lot of trust in these machines asking them to make big decisions almost like we do not realize that there is not an actual person in there. The machine, whether we’d like to believe it or not is not coming up with these decisions on our own. They are programmed to make their decisions a certain way so when you think about it you are really trusting whoever programmed the machine to make those decisions for you. Knowing that it is tough to tell whether or not the machine is always making decisions that are in your best interest. In this example using Alexa, a machine that is programmed by Amazon, it is very possible that the machine is convincing you to make decisions that favor Amazon without you even realizing it. People trust these machines with all kinds of decisions like what to eat and what to wear so why wouldn’t they program it to tell you to eat food and wear clothes that were produced by Amazon. Aside from that point, I think it also just makes sense to generally try not to put too much trust in machines. As they continue to develop people give them more power but I think we should try and get back to just asking them to do a specific job. Machines were never meant to act like a person or try and take the place of one. I think nowadays people put too much trust in technology and this will only get worse as it continues to progress and the world becomes filled with more people who have never had to live without it. As generations pass less and less people can remember the days where no one had cell phones or computers. New generations were born into a world where everything is accessible with the click of a button which is obviously very convenient but it also poses the issue of people becoming too dependent on machines. I think people need to try and educate the younger generations, mine included, and try to remind them how to live life without a screen in front of their face all the time. Until that happens, problems like the ones brought up in this article will only appear more frequently and will be harder to deal with.

  17. Brian Ayoub October 13, 2017 at 9:02 pm #

    Reading this article, I became pretty concerned with how far technology has come, and also how young children nowadays are becoming exposed to it. The fact that a child can have a conversation with a machine like “Alexa” or “Siri” is in a way amazing that technology is so advanced, but also just weird, in that I can’t imagine what is gonna happen in another ten years. I could just imagine children becoming friends with holograms for example. I was blessed to be born in a time where technology is so advanced and I can literally type in anything I want and millions of results will pop up to give me what I want. However, kids now are becoming too accustomed to this technology, and I do not think that this is a good thing. I want to allow my children to become technologically adept, however I think that I would want this to occur when they at least become 10 years old. However, I know my little cousins who are 3 and 5 respectively, already have their own iPads and are probably as knowledgeable as me when it comes to navigating the web. This is all fun until they begin trusting the internet too much. You must be knowledgeable about what you put out on the internet because it can all come back to haunt you. If you put your credit card information on a website to purchase something, you must know that that information is always going to be there, until you yourself takes it off. If you put a picture up on Facebook or Instagram, you must know that even if you delete it, it is always going to be accessible. That is why I am afraid for these kids that think that all is fun and games when using this technology. They are not intelligent enough to look out for their own good and use these kinds of services. I like when kids watch educational videos on YouTube for example. But I can’t trust giving a kid an iPad when they are four years old and allow him to freely browse the internet. Kids are supposed to play outside and learn things from school, but nowadays kids want to play on phones and talk to “Alexa” instead of making friends at school. The underlying message is that all these technological advances are great and all, but you must know what you are getting yourself into when using it. That’s why this generation of kids and the future generations are going to have to be very careful when dealing with this technology. I would advise all parents to monitor their children’s activities on this technology before they allow them complete freedom. Let them use it but have a time and app limit. Maybe they can play games, but not roam around on the internet. Apps like Alexa and Siri are not toy people, they are services that collect data and kids should be careful when using them.

  18. Doris Motta October 13, 2017 at 9:35 pm #

    As a mother of an 11-year-old and 7-year-old myself, I can certainly relate a lot to the article. Many of the concerns regarding how the next generation interacts with technology today in age, has certainly been part of my many concerns as well. I myself had an echo dot, and at first it was very entertaining and fun to find out some fun facts. However, I also realized that my daughter was becoming too attached to it. Not just the echo dot but her tablet as well.

    The tablet has had pros and cons. However, I feel it has more disadvantages than advantages. If I allow her to freely spend her time on it, she could be hooked to it all day. The tablet has assisted with her being able to go online to read books provided through a program called “Raz kids” that her school uses. Although this is a benefit for reading, it can cause damage to her eyesight so I prefer the old-fashioned way of reading a book.

    Sure, Alexa is very entertaining and provides quick ways for fun facts. We can still learn a lot by using traditional ways such as the newspapers and so forth but realistically do we have the time for that like before? As a single mom who attends school full time, this isn’t impossible but it is certainly unrealistic compared to how much time we had on our hands in different times. Allowing an hour of tablet use while doing what I need to do will not cause harm under supervision.

    For me, it is more of a balance. I certainly restricted the use of tablet and I completely stopped using the Echo dot. Not only because I do not wish for my kids to depend on it but for me it has a lot to do with how much I trust these electronic devices. If our generation does not implement these consistent restrictions to the use of electronic devices, our children will naturally become dependent on them.
    They will not know what other options are out there for them if they are not exposed to it.

    We must keep the traditional ways of living life to some extent for them to know of its existence. We cannot always take the easy route because they will learn from that. Otherwise, humanity will just lose all personal connection and instead will be controlled by an automatic machine that little by little our society is trusting more and more.

  19. Gabriel Gonzales October 14, 2017 at 10:11 am #

    This article is interesting in the idea that it explores the evolution in the relationship between humans and technology. How deep does the relationship between technologies go when it comes to people? You gesture software such as Siri with the iOs program or Google with Android. These programs are some of the few that allow interpersonal interaction with an artificial intelligence. Mind you, most of the interactions are limited to those of commands rather than rapport between two friends, but that dynamic could completely change 10 or 15 years down the line with how the rate of technological advancement seems to be changing rapidly. Your best friend could potentially be a machine.

    One point that I found the most intriguing was the preliminary observation Rachel Botsman, author of the article, made between her daughter and the AmazonEcho. At one point, her daughter told Alexa, the AmazonEcho program, to shut up. She went from meager commands to an aggressive statement with in the first few minutes of being able ask or tell Alexa anything she wanted to. Immediately she asked Botsman, “is it okay to be rude to her?” To think that a girl of her age, approximately 3 years of age, is able to comprehend the idea that machine has the potential to emote or have standards of feelings that humans do is an incredible development in the dynamic in the relationship between humans and machines. If machines were one day able to carry consciousness, or even as far as to say free will, will they be set at the same standards as humans interacting with one another. Will they be assimilated to human society’s rules? Will machines abide by the same legislation or laws that humans do? Where is the line between drawn between something that is aware?

    This article brings to light an interesting argument. It delves into a sort of what if scenarios that if technology were to get smarter than, as smart as humans are in terms of interaction, how do we respond? It is easy to set aside the idea that humans would develop technology well enough to where a toaster has feelings. No one wants a Terminator-esk dystopia, but it is still something to discuss. How would technology be integrated into everyday life more than it already is?

  20. Ameer Richmond October 14, 2017 at 12:07 pm #

    The technology in world is vastly changing and the youth of the upcoming generation will enter it sooner than many think. The article makes valid points of how many companies are creating easy to use artificial intelligence, even for the youth. I noticed how the article goes into detail about how the youth is using these products and forms of technology at a early age. That could cause a trend, which makes them to dependent on them. I understand that technology is constantly growing but I would never want a whole generation to grow up and relying on stuff like Alexa or Siri. The concept behind it is amazing, to have everything catered to your likeness, but there must be a line drawn.
    The lab studies that was done also is a huge factor on how early we are letting kids use products like this. Between the ages of 3 and 10 is very drastic, which in time will be the norm. Applying this to my life, being born in 1995, I feel as if no one could be this dependent and trusting on technology. To be a heavy technology user is one thing but to really and allow kids to be so trusting on technology is another. The A.I. interface is something that is growing and very interesting to see develop in my lifetime. I just feel that the letting the youth interact with them at a young age, will cause a dependency problem with it in the near future.

  21. Leslie T October 14, 2017 at 1:18 pm #

    It is unfortunate that society pays so much attention to technology instead of placing value on human relationships. Similar to the author discussing the situation about her daughter interacting with Alexa, there is that concern of children developing relationships with machines rather then humans. In comparison to 2017 to the 1970s, technology has certainly changed and with parents having to work long hours, it is easy to surround children with devices like Alexa to keep them entertained. In a society were it is considered normal to surround ourselves with such technologies, there needs to be boundaries on the usage. These boundaries are essential for upcoming generations because of the dependent and obsessive relationship they might form with this machines instead of developing healthy relationships other human beings.

    The author of this article brought up that her daughter would use Alexa to see what kind of clothes to wear or even tried to ordered blueberries. Technology today has made it possible to perform an action with a press of a button or simply using a voice command. In addition to performing requests at a rapid speed, technology also plays a role in the development of children.According to Dr. Manny Alvarez in “Technology in early child development: Good or bad?” Dr Alvarex reports findings in his studies and concludes,”For the most part, children should stay clear of technology in favor of interaction and active play. While school-age children can benefit from the support of technology, new research shows that younger children will experience developmental delays.” Although machines have made it possible for children to learn, there needs to be a balance from having these technologies to engaging and learning with other humans. Machines are not a substitute for a best, teacher or even a parent and it is important to teach these children that lesson.

  22. Leah Hannawacker October 14, 2017 at 9:51 pm #

    After reading this article have really opened my eyes on how much we trust technology. As an individual who owns the amazon echo it strikes me to realize how much we rely on autonomous information devices. In this article, a father runs and experiment with his daughter, letting her have the freedom to ask Alexa whatever she preferred. He soon noticed that most decisions that were to be made that day were directed toward Alexa to have the final say. This started as just asking the weather and telling jokes, to turning into what should be done that day or what to wear. The interesting feature that amazon has linked to the echo is called Echo Look. This feature would allow individuals to ask Alexa for the opinions of their outfit choice. In doing so, it was supposed to help to individuals realize what looks flattering on them or what is in style at the moment.
    I find that this new Echo Look is quite interesting add-on. This could make a lot of things easier for those in the fashion industry and when buying clothes. I could see this device being used for online shopping. The website of choice could use this device to be able look at the size and build of the individual and then by scanning them, be able to advise them on sizing and clothing recommendations. This idea will make it easier for people to shop online.
    On the other hand, this article touches on how much we trust technology. This generation is very reliant on our cellular devices and the application of siri. Siri is similar to echo and is used in the same manner. Our generation has been raised with the mentality that if we don’t know how to do something, to simply look it up. This product, Echo, makes our lives easier now to be able to use it anywhere in the house. As a user of Echo, I constantly ask it for the weather and other miscellaneous questions about store hours or recipes. I don’t necessarily rely on it for outfit advice and other things, but I definitely use it on a daily basis. I think our generation needs to be aware of the privacy implications when putting so much of our private lives into a technological device.

  23. Daria Di Paolo October 14, 2017 at 10:14 pm #

    While to some see, children have this idea of technology having feelings might be alarming, it should not be. Why? Because, for many years, people have always given technology or simple items some sort of human persona or image of them. People name their cars and boats, a chef may be begging an electric mixer to work after having it for 10 years, a person gets mad at their computer and out of frustration curses at it, then apologize when it does work. We have always been giving a face or something human to things that we use every day. Perhaps it is a way for us to show our attachment to these objects, or we feel they work better if we respond to them as such. But I do not think this is just a conundrum that only happens with children. Even then, it is not something that just happens to an Alexa or a Siri, kids talk to their toys all the time. Believing that they too may have feelings.

    Yet with how trusting children are getting with technology? Seems to be a bit more alarming. Then again, even people today have some type of reliance on it. Teens and young adults are fine with their phones doing simple tasks for them, not really doubting how well their phone is doing. Or if there is anything negative happening as they give or get a phone call. We have had technology for years, and we take things that when they were first introduced, were received with skepticism and concern. Today? Those pieces of technology are fine with being used. People at first were doubtful of the phone, now, everyone uses a cellphone without a second thought.

    While this might be something to be concerned about, with children, anything that can make someone more reliant on it can be seen to be something ‘bad’. What is needed to remedy this? Teaching children to control with what they do, or well, parents controlling how much their children should use this type of technology. This is the same thing with putting a child in front of the TV. Some parents will just put their child in front of the TV for hours on end, as some cheap babysitter. Parents today do the same thing, whether it is using a computer, or Alexa, or some other type of technology, parents need to know how this affects children in the long run. While now, the parents only think of the short run of just getting their children to not cause a ruckus in the house, they need to realize, the long-term implications of allowing their children to be entertained by technology for hours on end.

  24. Cristina O. October 15, 2017 at 12:29 am #

    As soon as I saw the title of this article, I had to read it. My husband received an Echo dot for free at work, and I have two children ages 2 and 4 who loved talking to Alexa.

    When we first brought her into our home, Alexa was of great curiosity to all of us. We all wanted to ask her questions and see how smart she really was. Questions about the weather, music requests, and random shenanigans to hear smartalec responses filled the air for a few hours. However, our unit is on a surge protector that is dependent on also having the t.v. on. More often than not, Alexa is sitting dormant. This has definitely kept the kids from going overboard with her. We’re betty protective of our children’s privacy. We barely post any pictures of them in our Facebook pages, preferring to share with individual family members via our phones our Dropbox. The most access we allow them is limited screen time with YouTube Kids.

    With technological innovation bringing us more information than ever before alongside giving us more access to public forums, I believe there needs to be more of a focus on protecting our privacy. Google, Facebook, Amazon, and those like them make a living on collecting our information. Evgeny Morozov gives a lecture on this exact subject (https://youtu.be/Ba0rIaEftKU). When did the possible repercussions outweigh the conveniences?

    Think of how many devices you own that track what you eat, how you sleep, your favorite colors (Alexa’s is infrared, by the way), where you go and so much more. What happens when that information falls into the wrong hands? When do helpful suggestions turn into brainwashing? It all sounds like something out of a science fiction novel, but look how far we’ve come in the past 100 years. Think of where society will be in another 100. Hopefully, it won’t look like something out of the Matrix or Terminator.

  25. Isabel Grullon Ramirez October 15, 2017 at 8:14 pm #

    The A.I from Amazon, Alexa is a great help for people in the U.S. Within a voice’s reach, one could order anything from Amazon, play songs, and re-order products, and even check on the weather. This article sheds light on the interaction of Alexa and Gracie, a 3-year old. As a parent, the writer of the article is concerned on how much we trust machines. Not only that one trusts them to do something, but that the machines decide how to fulfill such order. Although it may seem to be taken out of a science fiction movie, Alexa is simply an assistant. In this fast-paced globe, people are busier than ever; if they can have a personal helper to buy their groceries and have them shipped to their house (as it’s the case with Amazon Fresh), read their kids a bedtime story, play music, set alarms, etc. Why would it not be used? Technology such as Alexa is here to help humans, and should in no way be a replacement for human- to human interactions. For example, Alexa cannot impart any values, or any lessons to children, it is simply a “corporate algorithm in a black box.”
    There are certain limitations that are crucial for the development of children, and too much technology can hinder their social skills development, but if Alexa is used correctly and with limitations, it can be a great tool for parents. As illustrated by Gracie, the three year old in the article, she was able to interact with Alexa by asking her basic questions. Where Alexa and the other A.I devices failed was the questions about personality. This is the crucial part about artificial intelligence. They have not developed a personality. While the article states that “the Alexas of the world will make a raft of decisions for kids”, given that they don’t have personalities, they cannot make rationed decisions about people’s lives. Therefore, the decisions that they can make for children is very limited.

  26. Shannon Britton October 16, 2017 at 11:56 am #

    I found this post to be very interesting. It reveals and explores the relationship that humans have with technology. It also shows how sincere our relationships can actually become with technology. Especially children or younger adults who have grown up in a technological based world – this is all that they know. This article also shows how trusting and impressionable children can be with technology. We rely so heavily on technology that we start to form these relationships with devices such as our phones, iPads, watches, and computers. We trust and depend so heavily on them that we cannot imagine a world without them. We sometimes forget that we are social beings and need that person to person connection to survive and live healthy and fulfilled lives. People especially children need to remember that technology cannot take the place of actual social interactions with others. I feel that this is something that I often need to remind myself about.
    This article also brings up how advanced technology has become. The echo essentially has the social and knowledge skills of a human being – it greets you, tells you jokes, and knows a lot of information. You could ask this Echo device practically any question and it could answer it for you by using the internet. When the little girl was interacting with the Echo she was acting like it was a person and was not sure if it had feelings. She interacted with it like she would an actual human being. I do not have an Echo however i have heard great things about it. It is very helpful to people.
    I also wanted to mention the Title of this post “Co-Parenting with Alexa.” When i saw this, i immediately was intrigued. The title refers to Alexa or the Echo being another parent figure in the house – someone who helps with the children. I thought this was a very interesting way to put it. This also shows how much we trust and depend on technology.
    It is astonishing that technology has become so advanced. Is this what the future holds for us? Technology that can take the place or act on behalf of a person?

  27. Matt Resende October 18, 2017 at 6:25 pm #

    Living in a household that owns an Amazon Echo, I can definitively say that it is one of the coolest pieces of technology made today. What the Echo is capable of is astonishing to see and hear. I would be lying if I said I was not guilty of asking Alexa stupid questions to get a funny answer, or tell her to add something funny to the shopping list so my Mom would see it when she went out to buy groceries the next time. All of these aspects of the Echo are fun and cool, but at what point does one sit back and think how much it is really affecting our lives negatively.

    I know I may be in the minority with this argument, but Alexa is where I draw the line with technology in our lives. As a society, people have become so attached to technology that they forget there is a world outside around them. I constantly see groups of people, maybe friends, classmates, or coworkers, sitting on their phones. In fact, I live in a house where my roommates are constantly on their phones, even when we are all sitting together. People live through their phone and keep important information in it, so that in the off chance something happens to it, they are in trouble. I am in no way completely innocent of any of these things, but I try not to do it as much. Phones are a good example just because they are so accessible. However, phones are a necessity technology, and although distracting, can be helpful. I draw the line at the Amazon Echo because now all you have to do is say “Alexa”, and it will do anything you want it to. Every aspect of your daily lives can be kept in this device, and that is a scary proposition. Why would anybody write anything down when they can just tell Alexa to remember it for them? What is the point of remembering important dates because Alexa can just tell you when they are?

    The problem I have with a device like the Echo is simple; at what point does some basic human function get lost because of technology? The Echo is only the beginning with more innovative and more intelligent technology in the works. The author, Rachel Bostman, said in the article that her daughter, after three days, was asking Alexa everything about anything she did. She would ask what she should wear, ask her to buy things, and say good morning to it. At some point, these “robots” are going to turn society into robots, just living life through technology because knowing basic human function like reading, writing, and decision making will become obsolete. This may be a far reach, but I can definitely see a time, not in our lives most likely, where technology will completely run the world. It is difficult to argue that it will not. Advances in technology are important to everyday living, but technological advances that involve invading privacy and storing information are a grey area.

  28. Steven Merrill October 19, 2017 at 1:05 pm #

    This article discusses the little black circular technology called “Alexa”. This was developed by Amazon as an ease of purchase for items through their website with the help of her voice. It discusses how the author’s daughter interacts with the technology and how it affects her life. It talks about how entrenched she got with the machine and how much she develops a relationship with it. The author then discusses how much technology has become a part of our everyday life. She also describes how much we want technology to be involved in our everyday lives. Lastly she states how much trust children have in technology, nearly more trust then humans.

    It is amazing how much technology has become a part of everyone’s life. Every day we are surrounded by technology everywhere we turn. Now something as small as “Alexa” is entering our homes and becoming a part of families. Additionally these forms of technology begin to shape the way the children of the world interact with it. They want technology to be able to make decisions for them and to choose different options for them. This could change the way parenting happens in the future because of these interactions. It could also change the way future generations live their lives.

    Technology is a scary thing. It effects the way children interact with the world and other people. It even effects the way individuals act with each other. To be quite honest it is a scary thought at what technology can mean for the future. If children trust technology more than humans, how will parents be able to discipline them? How will parents be able to control their own children on a day to day basis? Will technology continue to rule over our children or will something need to be done to correct this? These are all questions that many will be unable to answer for a long period of time until there is more information to see if there is any relation with technology and children. I personally believe that technology should be slowed down somewhat so that it does not take over our children’s lives like it is now.

  29. Lucas Nieves-Violet October 20, 2017 at 12:53 pm #

    It is of great importance to see and to acknowledge how big of a part technology plays in our daily lives. Whether we like it or not we are surrounded by it and always using it. I’m currently using a computer to talk about technology. Often we use it without noticing, and other times we wish it didn’t exist and hoped for human interactions instead. Few of those examples can be when you call the post office, the bank, or your service provider. The helps centers of these companies are now led and most times directed by A.I’s. We have become accustomed and familiar with using technology. However as described by Rachel Botsman we need to realize when it becomes too invasive.
    Alexa is an excellent tool to use, but when children start to look up to machines for advice and conversation, the law needs to be set. Computers, robots, and A.I’s will never replace the act of parenting. Mostly at the heart of those machines are an algorithm defined to help the consumers. Technology tools are not vital to our lives we do not depend on them, therefore, no one especially kids should look up to them. They need to be known and understood as simple machines. When our kids start to sympathize with them too early and start to become attached to the machine is where the problem begins. The future generations will need to understand what is vital to a life and a person, and that is not Alexa.
    Having an A.I constantly living in your house, being able to hear you and see your every move is not ok and should never be considered as causal. Every time I read an article about how technology is slowly taking over our lives I start to think about the movie Wall-E. In the film when Wall-E gets to the human populated spaceship all the humans aboard are fat chubby and continuously surrounded by technology, by a chair driving them around and constantly assisting them. While we may be far from being to this point Alexa is the first big step to that, believe it or not. Technology is made more accessible to us so that we don’t need to go out. In her article Bostman explains that at one point her daughter Grace, asks Alexa to order her “blueberries.” Instead of going out and getting it the machines provides this service for the consumer. This is where the product becomes toxic.
    Future generations will be likely to become dependent on such services like Alexa or Siri. Botman explains that she fears when kids and people ask A.I’s what to eat, wear, and what to do. Human beings are free and able to do what they want robots and algorithm should not limit what one does. One should just do what they wish. We are the smartest living creatures of this earth whether we may think it or not A.I’s, robots, and other forms artificial technology are not more intelligent than us they do not possess feelings or morals. Our brains lets us think creatively and to think without limits. Algorithms like the Amazon Echo are limited, and if kids focus their attention on them, they will lose the beautiful gift of Imagination, which provides them the freedom to think without limits. They should wear what they want because they feel like it not because a machine tells them to.

  30. Gabriel Gonzales October 21, 2017 at 6:03 am #

    I’ve always found it interesting about the idea about technology being a “babysitter”. The article showcases an interesting idea about the interaction between children and technology. Back in the day, you would always hear parents lecturing their about how they should stop playing their videogames or texting on their phone and go outside. I believe parents have coined the term “back in my day” for this very instance. Nowadays, you see parents allowing 2 year olds to play with iPads or even kindergartners using the computer to go on YouTube. Technology has been able to integrate into everyday routine over the past few years. You went from hanging out with friends in real life to hanging out with friends on Facebook live. Slowly but surely, technology has cut the middle man of synchronous communication to a simple text or email.

    Technology has given rise to the new age of parenting where parents could essentially leave their children unattended but so long as they had food, water, and some kind of technological device, they were going to be able to take care of themselves. From this perspective, it seems as if the parent is just neglecting the child, but in a world where time is limited and bills need to be paid, you’d rather have a babysitter who doesn’t need to be paid rather than the next door neighbor’s child sitting on the couch getting a fair $12.19 an hour. Here in lies the issue. Although we have a government agency such as the Federal Communications Commission to regulate what get put out onto the viewing public, it’s the disconnect with values that the parents are having issue with. Children are like sponges and soak in anything accessible to their eyes and ears. They take in information so rapidly and gain so much knowledge within a half an hour of entertainment on television that they are able to acknowledge and integrate what they learned instantaneously. They can learn their ABCs from Barney or learn to count by watching Sesame Street. What parents aren’t so apt to kids learning is why they shouldn’t make fun of anther or why you shouldn’t judge someone based on aesthetics. I would think that they would want to teach that to their kids themselves rather than a cartoon showing them the “right” way to deal with problems.

    One portion of the article in particular I found insightful was the initial interaction Rachel Botsman, author of the article, observed between her daughter and the AmazonEcho on the first hour. When the daughter asked, has had knowledge of Alexa’s command capacity, if she could be rude to a machine. You don’t stop to think how technology could affect a three year old in such a way. Technology is able to garner such a moral dilemma within a child who isn’t even in preschool yet. That begs the question, “Where do my kid’s values come from?” The operative answer would be from the parent, but in today’s world, adolescents gain their values and ethical behaviors form outlets such as television or the internet. Their learn how to stand up for themselves on their favorite after school special or learn to make friends from their favorite youtubers. Parenting really has become a lost art. Yes, there are those cases of helicopter parenting where they monitor pretty much every move their child makes, but parenting in today’s age has become more laissez faire. Although parents want to be involved in instilling their values and morals toward their children, they pale in comparison to their child’s favorite actor or youtuber or blogger. The list could go on and on, but the point is co-parenting has really been an uphill battle between the parent and technology.

    Most content on television or the internet tend to weigh on the side as politically correct, but it is only a matter of time before their child sees something about the dark side of racism of political unrest. What then? Do they tell their child they shouldn’t be watching that? Or they tell their child stop playing that videogame because it’s too violent. Where does the line draw where one thing is acceptable but the other is not? How will the child be able to determine that without constant parental intervention? Sure, there are child safety locks for television, but the internet is vast and expansive. It is not out of the question a curious kid may go on Google and end up on the dark web. Technology has changed the way parents think about raising their kids. They’ve had to account for so much change that they may not necessarily be able to keep up with. That is scary to think about, especially if a three year old is already thinking about it.

  31. Melanie Boyea October 25, 2017 at 11:38 pm #

    It was on Amazon Prime Day that I made the choice to order an Amazon Echo, or Alexa as everyone calls it. I didn’t totally understand the hype about Alexa, I just wanted a quality Bluetooth speaker to play music in my new apartment. It wasn’t until I started using Alexa in my day to day life that I realized that this electronic piece of equipment is…well human like. As weeks went on I became more and more fond of Alexa using and finding new things that she can do. After some time, it occurred to me that everything I said to Alexa is recorded in a database owned by amazon, and even if I am not directly talking to Alexa, she is always listening for her name so the device is always listening to and possibly recording what is being said inside my apartment.
    As stated in the article, we are used to robots doing things such as dispensing money from an ATM or washing and drying our clothes, but newer technology such as Alexa makes ATM’s and washing machines feel like they are from the stone age. With kids today, they are growing up in the age of technology and are quickly learning to use it to the fullest extent. The debate over them relying too heavily on technology is and will always be up in the air but where do we draw the line with going too far? This article reminds me of the movie iRobot where technology was so advanced that there was human like robots that could walk, talk, and even feel emotion. I know that is a far stretch but younger kids can form bonds to technology such as Alexa, in trusting what they say and relying on them not knowing that it is a box that just wants information on how to market products to you better.
    As we move farther into this technological world, we are going to have to heavily educate kids from a young age to be cautious about what information they give out not only to companies but electronic devices such as Alexa. This needs to not only come from their parents but could and should be programmed into the school system. These kids and even other adults are putting their security and privacy at risk every day if they choose to use these “smart devices” incorrectly.

  32. Emma Lupo October 26, 2017 at 4:43 pm #

    In recent years, the new improvements of technology have seemingly taken over the world. This upcoming generation will grow up with these constant advancements, and not know what a world without technology looks like. Luckily, I just missed the cut off of being in that generation. My siblings and I were never given an iPad or a phone to look at while sitting at the dinner table. We were taught from a very young age that it is disrespectful to be on your phone while you are sitting with people in certain settings. It is disheartening to me to see 3 year olds at dinner with their families, sitting in their high chair with an iPad. Unfortunately, this is the world we live in today. Even though these constant innovations are difficult for me to grasp completely since I did not grow up this way, they could certainly have amazing benefits to our futures.
    One of the newest advances in technology today is the interactive devices that Amazon, Google, and many other companies have begun developing. Amazon’s Alexa is an intelligent personal assistant in a wireless speaker. Using just the sound of your voice, you Alexa can answer questions, search the internet, create lists, shop online, tell you the weather, and so much more, all while your phone is in your pocket. It is quite unnerving that it is so easy for young children, such as Grace in this article, to build personal relationships with a device. This article focuses on how impactful artificial intelligence devices can be to people, especially young children. Only within a few interactions was Grace able to form a personal relationship with Alexa. She was fully trusting in it as if it is a real person. According to the article, “almost 80% of the children thought Alexa would always tell the truth”. It can be dangerous that children of this young age are exposed to technology this advanced because they do not have the mental capacity that adults have. They do not yet understand the concept of artificial intelligence.
    Our trust in technology has certainly grown immensely through the years. We trust technology so much that we have now personified it and feel “confident enough the machine or mechanism will do what it’s supposed or expected to do, nothing more, nothing less”. We have gone as far as to trust machines to do our laundry or dispense money, but forming relationships with these devices is definitely a new and unusual concept.
    The next generation will not know what a world without technology looks like because they have been surrounded by devices that do what we say when we say it, without lifting a finger. I believe that technology is evolving more rapidly than people are, and we need to slow down and not trust these robots as much as we do. These constant advancements in technology undoubtedly have their benefits, but we have to be careful with how we use these devices. We need to teach this generation when it is acceptable and when it is unacceptable to trust these machines. We cannot teach them to rely on “computer code alone”. In the end of this article, Grace’s mother made the wise decision which was to retire Alexa in the closet.

  33. Eric A October 27, 2017 at 5:41 pm #

    This is probably the most interesting article I have read in a long time. The author’s (Rachel Botsman) 3-year-old daughter Grace unknowingly did an excellent job of illustrating the pervasiveness of technology in our world today. I’m only 20, so unlike my parents I am unable to remember a time without computers. That said, it still amazes me when I think about how far technology has come even in my lifetime. Just 15 years ago we were using dial up internet tied into the home phone and now we search our wireless internet with cell phones using voice commands like it’s nothing.
    The part that most intrigued me about this article is when the author says that Grace thought the device had feelings and “Alexa” was the first thing she talked to the next morning. To Grace and other children her age, this kind of behavior (talking to electronics to accomplish tasks) will be completely normal from day 1 and makes me wonder what the next “big thing” could possibly be and how much further it will come in the next 15 years.
    The article also addresses some serious concerns about this. Just as my generation has become dependent on computers, it appears young children will become dependent on these devices. While this is not necessarily a bad thing for kids to be exposed to it and learn to use them as tools, I don’t think they should become dependent on devices to do everything for them. Just as computers has made our generation’s social skills suffer as a whole, devices like this can teach kids that there will always be something there to make a decision for them instead of learning how to think critically for themselves. Devices like Alexa are great tools but I don’t think parents should (knowingly or unknowingly) teach their kids to become reliant on them.

  34. Alison Amen October 29, 2017 at 8:54 pm #

    In this generation alone, there has been a dramatic shift in the relationship that we as humans have with the technology around us. Children these days are so focused on technology surrounding them and are relying on it more than they are relying on their parents, friends and other people around them. In past generations, our trust in technology has gone no further than knowing that the electronic device or machine will do its job of what it is expected to do on a daily basis. In this day and age, there is technology that is so advanced that we rely on them more than we are supposed to. We form relationships with them and even call them names such as the new Amazon Echo who is named Alexa. By simply saying “Alexa,” you get the small black cylinder’s attention and is ready to tackle and answer any question you may ask it. We are no longer trusting these devices to do something, we are now asking it to decide what to do and when to do it.

    When my family first brought home Alexa, I was thrilled. It was so entertaining having someone who would do every command you ask her to do. If I asked her to put on music, she would do it. If I asked her what the weather was, she would reply with the current up to date weather forecast. If I asked her to tell a joke, she would proceed to tell a joke. After fooling around with it for a couple days we all got bored of the device. Now, it is just used to ask questions that we have when we want a fast answer and as a speaker to play music throughout the house. I personally believe that this is all the Amazon Echo should be used for. Little kids however, are using Alexa as more as a friend and are relying on her. Such as Grace in the article, she quickly learned that Alexa would be there for any questions Grace would throw at her. Grace soon built a relationship with Alexa and every morning when Grace would get up, Alexa would be the first person that she would say hello to instead of her mom who was a real person.

    People these days have become closer with technology. There is a relationship now between humans and technology that cannot be broken. Now, there are devices with names such as “Alexa” and also with the IOS IPhone SIRI as well. By putting names to these devices, it creates this relationship that we are so depended on technology. Looking into the future, I can definitely see this being problematic in the sense that we as humans are too reliant on technology.

  35. Konnor Vanemon October 30, 2017 at 9:37 pm #

    As a Millennial, those who are classified as Generation X and the generations before them assume that we are tech savvy because we are the first generation to experience the introduction and evolution of many technological devices such as cell phones, lap tops and computers, the Internet, and even various types of software and applications. While we consider ourselves to be extremely proficient in the use of these different devices, we didn’t necessarily grow up with them; Generation Z, or the portion of our country’s current population born throughout the 2000s, was introduced to and quickly learned how to use and interact with the rapidly evolving technologies from the time that they were born. Growing up, my generation had cassette and VHR tapes, basic computer games, and flip phones that were actually used to make calls because texting wasn’t as “trendy” as it is now. Generation Z has been growing up with tablets, smart phones and TVs, and the newest addition of virtual reality, and they know how to use and work all of them in what seems to be a matter of a few minutes of getting their hands on it.
    Technology has become the center of our lives; everything that we do has technology incorporated somehow and it’s gotten to the point where most of society has become addicted to their devices, whether they want to admit it or not. While it is exciting and rewarding to see children learn the skills needed to use various devices, it can become alarming when they become too attached and can’t get through their day without using an iPad or playing video games. It can also become alarming for parents when they don’t know what their children do on these devices, especially when it comes to using social media apps. When social media was first introduced, it had a negative reputation because there were so many horror stories of children and teens being contacted and lured into dangerous situations by strangers, but now it has become a “norm” to have random people following and contacting you on social media. Unfortunately, children using these apps today don’t know of the dangers that lurk behind the colorful and enticing logos and concepts of them.
    Similar to Botsman, the author of the article, I have been around several Amazon Echos, or Alexas, since they first came out. Not only does my house have two of them, but the family that I babysit for also has two; one in the kitchen and one in the eldest child’s bedroom. When I would babysit the two children, they would always greet Alexa when they would walk into the kitchen, sometimes before even acknowledging me. They loved hearing her tell them the weather and daily news, asking her to tell them jokes and play music, getting tracking updates on expected Amazon deliveries, and even telling Alexa to call their mother while she was at work when they had a question or just wanted to check in. While I admit that it was interesting to see all that this machine could do, it started to become a problem when all the kids would want to do was stay inside and bark orders at Alexa instead of going outside to play, and even when I could get them to go outside, they would try to bring her with them. Sometimes I felt that I didn’t even need to be there; Alexa had taken over my babysitting job and was fully capable of entertaining them for hours. I soon discovered from their mother and her Alexa App that Alexa is not only constantly listening for commands, but she records everything that is said, or what she believes is being said to her, which is what raised red flags for me. With every new advancement in the technology we use, the more trusting we become and the less worried we are in terms of our security. With children having access to these constantly advancing technologies, they become dependent on them and never consider the safety risks that can come with the devices. While children should not be kept away from children because our society revolves around the use of technology, they should be taught how to safely use them while still being able to enjoy them.

  36. Juliana Martinez October 31, 2017 at 4:47 pm #

    In my personal opinion, if there were an Alexa devise in my house, I would also retire Alexa to the closet. Although I do not have kids, the level of intrusiveness technology of this level has on the everyday life is outrageous. Other devices, such as iPhones and Androids, that use voice and audio applications such as Siri, are also constantly listening and recording our activities. This means that at this day in age, we are constantly being listened to and tracked. Talk about lack of privacy. Although there is no actual person listening to our every word or checking our web activities, there are websites that provide this information such as “myactivity.google.com/myactivity” that provide a list of web pages and audio recordings of voice web searches you have searched through google. As easy it is for google to provide this information, it is just as easy for the government or hackers to obtain all sorts of information too. Luckily most of the information the common citizen put out there is not top secret information, the idea that so much data is kept without our knowledge is unsettling.
    Despite the lack of privacy, devices such as Alexa have had moments of great use. Other than making information more available and making online buying even easier, Alexa has also helped in cases of criminal acts. For example there have been many recordings of house robberies saved through the device, but the most astonishing are recordings of homicides that have helped the police during investigation. Cases such as the Amazon Echo Case, provide an example of how these devices have truly helped the population through its constant recording.

    https://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/is-your-smartphone-listening-to-your-conversations/
    http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/07/tech/amazon-echo-alexa-bentonville-arkansas-murder-case/index.html

  37. Jordan Aharon November 1, 2017 at 4:48 pm #

    I think the author mentions an important point when she asks how are parents going to teach children about privacy and security when they are surrounded with devices like Alexa. As technology evolves, we get less privacy than ever. Even social media websites that we use everyday destroy our privacy. If you have a public account and share that you are at a certain place, anyone with internet access can find you. Alexa has its own concerns. The new Amazon Echo has a camera. There are so many scary possibilities if Alexa got hacked and had access to everything we said and is able to film us in the privacy of our own homes.
    I personally purchased own an Xbox one with the motion sensor called the Kinect. With thee Kinect I was able to Skype people over the Xbox and use voice commands to control my TV. I enjoyed using it, but I didn’t feel comfortable having a camera in my room watching me. I decided to buy a stand for the Kinect that had a cover on the camera. That gave me a little more comfort.
    Another important point what is the future of devices like Alexa. One of the main purposes of Alexa is the ability for Amazon to sell its other products and services. The author mentions that people are going to ask Alexa questions like what to wear or who to date. I don’t think the many people are going to be influenced on who to date based on AI. Even though I don’t think people will give that much control to Alexa, dating has been commercialized now with different pay to use dating apps. Companies like Amazon might try to incorporate online dating services into their devices, and that is pretty crazy.

  38. Rubi Leyva-Rodriguez November 3, 2017 at 8:13 am #

    It has long been a motif in Hollywood sci-fi movies to depict machine and humans co-existing alongside one another when envisioning the future. As the years go by, that depiction that once felt so far removed suddenly does not seem as foreign any longer. This article was one example of how integrating artificial intelligence into our homes can fundamentally change how the American household will operate.

    At the beginning of the article, we see the mother introducing her daughter to the Amazon Echo, otherwise known as Alexa. The interaction begins as innocent with Grace, the daughter, asking Alexa a general question about the weather. Simple enough, this would just require Alexa to do an internet search for the local weather posting and forecast. However, like a science-fiction movie becoming reality, Graces finds that Alexa can do much more than just answer objective questions. She can also emulate human behaviors that aren’t quite as objective like obey commands, sing, and even joke.

    The author’s skepticism is highlighted in a couple of examples. The first was when Grace tells Alexa to “buy blueberries,” which presumably would have Alexa scour the database of Amazon Fresh to have an order of blueberries ordered and delivered to the house. The second when Amazon released a new add-on feature called the Echo Look that had an attached camera to view and judge outfits, another step outside of its objectivity.

    The original purpose of technology was to make life as humans easier and more convenient, but the author brings up some points and concerns which support the notion that that purpose has morphed into something that isn’t as benevolent, like marketing. When dealing with the insanely fast-paced world of technological advances, it is wise to always remain skeptical of the maker’s intent.

  39. Erik Peterson November 5, 2017 at 9:28 am #

    This article goes into detail about the future of technology, and its impact on the people around us, kids in particular. As adults, it is easy for us to distinguish things with artificial intelligence like Alexa, such as when she is trying to sell us something, or when she is being genuinely helpful (by asking a question, etc.). Children, on the other hand, have absolutely no clue what exactly they are dealing with. I think that as the evolution of artificially intelligent objects like Alexa progresses, we could face a few big problems.
    The first problem that I can foresee concerns our privacy. As the article said, Alexa listens to everything you say, and she will always answer any question that you ask her. This is potentially startling to me because if I say something that is not directed at Alexa, but she records it anyway, where does that information go? Is someone at Amazon able to listen in on my conversations? Could someone else find a way to break in to my Alexa unit and steal that information? All of this kind of stuff is extremely unsettling and scary. Another thing that the article mentions is the Echo Look, the add on to Alexa that has the ability to film or take pictures of you. This, to me, is even scarier than the audio. Now, if someone is able to get into my Amazon Echo unit in some way or another, they will be able to see video of me? Just the thought of that is really scary to me, and I’m sure that as the technology gets even broader, it is an issue that we will have to face head on.
    The second problem that I can see coming up is in the trust that we place in these machines, and the effect that it has on other relationships in our lives. It is so easy to believe everything that the artificial intelligence tells you. Like the article said, the voice of Alexa is programmed to be comforting, and friendly. This makes you place more trust into the Amazon Echo, it makes it more believable. This is as equally as scary as the privacy issue. What if the people at Amazon start to program Alexa to be more aggressive in her selling tactics? That friendly voice could quickly run you for a lot of money. Furthermore, as the article states, the daughter began to have a stronger relationship with Alexa than the relationship with her dad. When the daughter was choosing what to wear, what to eat, or even what to do, she would no longer ask her father for guidance. Instead, she would go and ask Alexa instead. This is alarming, and things can only get worse, unless we try to curb this kind of behavior as soon as possible.
    My favorite movie Fight Club has the line “The things you own end up owning you.” I think that as the digital age progresses, this quote will end up becoming more and more true. You can see it happen in about 3 days with that little girl, because Alexa started to run her life, making decisions for the girl. The technology that we currently have, and the technology in development will be life changing, but will it be positive?

  40. Jeet Desai November 6, 2017 at 4:27 pm #

    For some individuals robot is a machine that mimics a human—like the androids in Star Wars, Terminator and Star Trek: The Next Generation. However much these robots catch our creative ability, such robots still just possess Science Fiction. Individuals still haven’t possessed the capacity to give a robot enough ‘presence of mind’ to dependably associate with a dynamic world. The type of robots that you will encounter most frequently are robots that do work that is too dangerous, boring, onerous, or just plain nasty. They can be found in auto, outer space, manufacturing. Today “Alexa” the most renowned and lovable technology in today’s times.
    Alexa is nothing unique, new technology because we have already encountered features like this in Apple, Android, Microsoft. But, Alexa is simply smarter than other. As from the personal example, I have 2 nieces and also know their friends. Everone has Alexa in their house. Alexa has become a part of today’s generation life. They take each and every opinion from Alexa from the dress they wear, their daily schedule and what to do in specific timings and they also follow simply what it says. It might become dangerous for future. It will make the thinking ability to zero. As in the article discussed how M.I.T. Media lab took a survey on the age group of children of 3 and 10 and what is their reaction, feelings for it and they saw that all of them asked the personal question which another feature like Siri can’t answer this question. But Alexa can scan through their eyes and also able to take a picture.
    Well, it is a system that contains sensors, control systems, manipulators, power supplies and software all working together to perform a task. Designing, building, programming and testing robots is a combination of physics, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, structural engineering, mathematics, and computing. From the title, we can figure how Alexa became co-parent for the young child.

  41. Sean F November 7, 2017 at 4:02 pm #

    This is an interesting time period we live in. As previous generations were fearful of technology, wanting to give no personal information to it, we openly allow technology full access to our private lives. Those who are not aware of what implications are involved with handing out such personal information are children and naïve internet users. Young children do not have the capability of understanding that Alexa is really a product that is storing all the information you give it to try and sell you more products, or sell your information to other companies to understand buying trends of other consumers similar to you. It would be an interesting conversation to have with a child, telling them Alexa is not a friend, but more so a means of making your life convenient at the cost of your information. I do not have a child, but my girlfriend has a young stepsister who recently turned 6. Her interactions with Alexa are not far off from what Rachel is describing. She will just ask Alexa whatever is on her mind and she usually gets an answer. To her, it is practically magic to have an all-knowing being in the room waiting for your next request.

    There is always one thing to do when it comes to technology, which seems more impractical as every day passes, and that would be to unplug from the digital world. There is almost no escape from this digital presence, people with smartphones are just as susceptible as those with Alexa. The comparison can be made from children with Alexa to young adults with smartphones more specifically Facebook. Just as children do not understand the implications of Alexa, young adults are not aware of the repercussions of their smartphones. Just as an example, Facebook is no longer just a social network for connecting with acquaintances, but more a company with full intention to track and monitor user behavior. The latest Facebook terms and condition include access to the user’s microphone which can then use information that you talk about verbally. Facebook denies any claims that they are listening to conversations, yet there are interesting ads that will pop up on your feed after verbally talking about a product. If you allow Facebook permission to access your microphone, just randomly say “cat food” into the phone and you will see ads for cat food on your feed. The “coincidence” can be noticed by attentive viewers, but many do not see as they are busy checking in with their friends on the platform. Just as the children are giving information to Alexa, Facebook users are feeding information to the company without some users even knowing. The parallels between the two are scary as one side is a child not knowing the complexity of Alexa due to innocence whereas adults do not know because they do not read the terms and conditions (more ignorance than innocence). Both parties are being used for their information and Rachel brings up a good question in regards to children with Alexa and users of Facebook, “do we trust them too much?”

  42. Jeffrey Khoudary November 10, 2017 at 7:46 pm #

    Rachel Botsman described her daughter’s experience with Amazon’s product, the Amazon Echo. Botsman noticed that her daughter quickly developed a sense of trust in this product. This device is commonly referred to by name, Alexa, is unlike most technology today. For instance, we do not refer to a washing machine or cellphone by name, but Amazon has humanized the Amazon Echo by encouraging adults and children to refer to it by name. Additionally, Alexa can greet its users, provide interesting facts, and play their favorite music.

    Individuals today have become very trusting of technology. Even though the Amazon Echo is only a “corporate algorithm in a black box,” Grace, a three-year-old child, began turning to it for advice about what to do and wear. A MIT study found that about eighty percent of children believe Alexa always tells the truth. The Verge Tech Survey “How Americans really feel about Facebook, Apple, and more” by Newton, Statt, and Zelenko demonstrate that children are not the only ones who are very trusting of Amazon. Grace’s trust in Alexa is comparable to American’s overall perception of Amazon. Their research shows that Americans believe that Amazon is almost as trustworthy as their own bank.

    It’s fascinating to see how technology has become a major part of our life. Only a few decades ago, computer programs were a luxury in households. Now, almost everyone in New Jersey has a desktop or laptop, touch screen phone, and access to social media. The question of where and when it is appropriate to trust computer code is relevant to me today. I often rely on Google Maps to guide me from school to home safely and efficiently. However, there have been times when Google Maps stopped working in the middle of my route. My generation, along with other future generations, must continue to evaluate when it is appropriate to rely on computer programs and artificial intelligence to make decisions.

  43. KM November 11, 2017 at 8:03 pm #

    Of all of the articles that I have read on this blog thus far, I find that I keep coming back to Rachel Botsman’s article “Co-Parenting With Alexa.” This article caught my attention because I found it to be so relatable and pertinent to what I am experiencing in my life at this time. I am a mother of young children and my husband and I have long grappled with the issue of introducing and explaining technology to our children. Typically I would draw on interactions that I had with my parents when I was younger for guidance, however these issues did not exist when I was growing up. Well, at least not to the extent that we are currently experiencing with the youngest generation. Each time I read Botsman’s article it makes me reevaluate my approach to technology and its place in my family. We received an Amazon Echo Dot and I have been hesitant to set it up. I question the security of the device and the information that is being gathered through its use. This is a concern of mine that I feel Botsman highlights in her article when she discusses how the images taken in the Echo Look’s Style Check feature are being stored on the Amazon cloud until the user goes in to delete them. It concerns me that the use of these devices encroaches greatly on my privacy and that of my family, something that I try to protect as much as possible.

    Another facet of her article that caught my attention is how children view these devices and how they see them as individuals rather than simply a grown up’s toy or gadget. I understand that children personify objects of all sorts when they are younger; however, I think that the lines are being blurred by attaching names to artificial intelligence such as Alexa or Siri. The difficulty becomes explaining that this device is not capable of developing a personal relationship with the child, rather it is merely a guise developed by a corporation to nurture a strong business relationship. When the author discusses how her daughter asked if it was ok to be rude to her, in reference to Alexa, it made me realize how difficult of a concept it is to explain to a child that a device is not a real person. To them, it has a female voice and “speaks” to them when asked a question. How could something that carries on a conversation of sorts not be a real person? It is concepts such as this, privacy, and screen time that have made me realize that integrating technology is going to be one of the bigger challenges I face as a parent. Not only do we have to worry about keeping them safe in the physical world, we also have to be concerned about the digital realm as well, where the dangers are not so clear cut.

    Technology can be a great tool for children and I believe that it can help advance their knowledge. One limitation that concerns me is that by asking Alexa for the answers they are not performing the research process themselves. While I think Alexa is nice as a novelty feature, I would rather go through the discovery process with my children and seek out answers together. Botsman also discusses in her article about how her daughter willingly handed over her decision making to Alexa and while they are seemingly small decisions, it is still important. Children do not have many choices to make at a young age and being able to make choices allows them to develop their own identity. I want my children to be confident in their decisions and I think that confidence may be reduced by having an AI source to consult. I am ok with my children having a tablet, exploring the internet (supervised), and learning about technology (devices, coding, etc.) because it will be an invaluable skill for them as they grow up. However, they also need to understand that using technology comes with a great deal of responsibility. Botsman’s article made me realize how difficult it will be to explain technology, as well as the benefits and dangers associated with it, to my children. It is a challenge that will have to be faced one day at a time, with or without the help of Alexa.

  44. Vincent Scorese December 8, 2017 at 10:21 pm #

    This is a scary sight to see in my opinion because I feel with all the introduction of technology in the homes and everywhere else we go; children are now losing the ability to not only communicate with each other but don’t really know how to act. Kids now have iPhone at such a young age and don’t even go out and play with their friends unless it’s an app or involves a gaming device. This is truly sad and I am happy to have grown up just before this era hit because I truly feel this is not healthy for the development and growth of kids or human interaction as well. It is well documented that kids are having issues displaying emotions or even communicating with each other because they are just so used to their phones or robot companions that the art of conversation is gone. If you are all sitting at a table everyone is on their phone texting or scrolling rather that talking with the people that are actually in their company with them. Participation in after school activities, sports, recreation centers, and many other things in that category are seeing declines and that is not goo because these are spots where kids can meet up and either meet new friends or learn new things like playing a new instrument or something that could lead to their dream/passions.

    It is also bad for a child to interact with just robots because they lose the ability to have empathy with others and be able to process certain things when it comes to emotional intelligence. Sometimes kids like shown in the article will act rudely or abruptly because they really don’t have the perception of what it’s like to do it to someone else, instead doing it to a robot and not realizing its wrong to do so. Also, another argument this article could create would be the absentness of parents or parenting in our day and age in comparison to that of the older days. The lack of this and therefore replacement with an Alexa instead of a human is not natural for a child to grow up with.

    Maybe at some point with this technology these robots or artificial intelligence will be able to reciprocate emotions and learn how to think creatively but for the meantime it’s just sad. It also is a shame on those who stick their kid to a talking robot cylinder rather than seeing and experiencing the great world around them.

  45. Olivia Mason January 26, 2018 at 3:01 pm #

    Millennials and the beginning of Generation Z (depending on the classification utilized) are perhaps the only generations to truly understand technologies growth. They were born just before or just after technology began to grow in an exponential fashion. Yet despite having technology for the majority (or entirety) of their lives, there is still a healthy dose of skepticism present.
    In the beginning technology was simply a way to do work, computers a replacement for the typewriter. However with the invention of the World Wide Web, technology started to become more recognizable to today’s standard. While the ability to access information was greatly increased, the enjoyment and recreational side of technology really took off and has led to the point technology has currently reached.
    Today, technology is almost equally for recreation as it is for work, and for generations younger than Gen Z, attitudes towards technology is completely different than those of earlier generations. The questions had, as mentioned in the article, originally been “should we trust this?” in regards to either information found online or the up-and-coming artificial intelligent assistants like Siri or Alexa. However the questions the younger generations will face is more likely to be “Do we put too much trust in this?” The fact is, that growing up with technology and A.I assistants (as the author’s daughter has) inherently comes with a certain amount of trust. This trust, if not appropriately addressed places even more power into the hands of the Frightful Five: Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, and Google.
    These digital giants are generally the owners of the A.I assistants (Apple and Siri, Amazon and Alexa, Google and Google Home Assistant), and have their own corporate agendas. Amazon wants users to go purchase products off of their website, and particularly off of amazon owned brands. With the introduction of the Style function on Alexa, they will recommend products- based off of images taken and saved of the user- from Amazon clothing lines. Searches made on Google, and information gather from Facebook is sold to companies looking to target their ideal consumer, advertisements on these platforms are then tailored to each individual user. Different companies then buy this information from the Frightful Five, giving them even more resources to grow.
    In order to combat this, younger generations need to be made aware of the tracking and recording that is being done from their searches to their locations. The skepticism that older generations possess toward technology coupled with the knowledge understanding of technology younger generations have would enable children to be acutely aware of the dangers of technology, in a way older generations weren’t (simply due to not having always been surrounded by it). It is up to parents and educators to show the danger of technology so that children are able to take on the world around them.

  46. Nathaniel Valyo January 26, 2018 at 5:46 pm #

    Honestly, I am a little scared for the future generations of our country. Yes, I am only eighteen years old and therefore unfit to have a hard opinion like this, but I am lucky enough to have just missed growing up in the A.I.-dominated land that America is today. I, at least, have an understanding of how to work for something I really want; a quality which will be scarce in future generations. Technology is undoubtedly useful, and for the longest time it was exciting and even noble. Now, we are teetering on the line of practicality and dependence.

    Hearing about a young child like Grace developing a personal relationship with a machine that exhibits true human emotions reminds me of the ending of Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 movie “2001: A Spacetime Oddysey” when the supercomputer HAL is being deactivated. HAL pleads with Dave, the main character, to not be deactivated, and he expresses regret for jeopardizing their mission. The supercomputer even shows physical, human emotion with phrases like, “please stop, Dave,” and “I’m afraid.” The scene is purposely made creepy to emphasize that a computer, a non-living thing, is displaying human characteristics.

    In 1968, the idea of a computer having the ability to communicate with humans and expressing human emotions was unheard of. Flash forward 60 years to our current day and age, and the idea of a computer with human characteristics is something that our youngest children see as the norm. Grace asked her mother if it was O.K. to be rude to Alexa, a computer, as if Alexa has feelings. Instead of seeing a machine as a useful and trustworthy tool, Grace is seeing a machine as a useful and trustworthy friend. Grace should not be relying on a computer in a black box to make decisions for her; Alexa should not assume the role of a parent. It does not take an expert to see that there is something wrong with this.

    It is also important to keep in mind that Alexa is a big-business marketing ploy which can hear quite literally every word that comes its way. Not to mention that camera additions may be purchased and attached to Alexa so that “she” can see and judge a person’s outfit and offer humanly advice. Grace’s “friend” takes on characteristics startlingly similar to a surveillance camera and a voice recorder.

  47. Daniel Schreier January 26, 2018 at 6:29 pm #

    After reading this article and thinking about the way we currently deal with technology, and especially children’s relation with it, I was wondering if this is actually helping us. Sure, technology has made our lives much easier and better in many cases. One person is now able to video chat with his family on the other side of the world with a touch of a (virtual) button. Technology made us closer, but it definitely made people be further away from each other, especially young children. In instance, 10 years ago, a child’s first toy was a model car, or a doll, but now, the first thing they get is an iPad. Children do not play outside with their friends anymore; instead, they are playing over the internet with other children they do not even know. This is very bad, because creating social relations is paramount in order to have a healthy life, and not only that, people are becoming depressed because of technology. See the time that people spend on Facebook, Instagram and other social media, just looking at other people’s lives and wondering how other’s lives are better than their own. Moreover, at the top of that, technology companies are gathering data from their users all the time and using that for- sometimes- not specifically ethical purposes. Companies like Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft possess a tremendous amount of data and information about, or related to their users, and they can use or even sell this information pretty much the way they want it, since we give them the right to do it when we accept their terms and conditions when we are using one of these companies products or services. Thus, we give them tremendous power, since we are all the time connected and using their systems, and “giving” them personal information all the time. For example, Alexa or other voice personal assistants are presumed to be off when we don’t call them, but nobody can surely guarantee that these services are not listening to everything we talk and storing our data or their services, which is not “ethical”, but is legal since we have signed a contract with them when we accept their terms and conditions. Therefore, although technology transformed 100% our lives, we cannot say that it was fully for better. A lot of different aspects of our life, specially the community one, were better in “the good old times”.

  48. Brianna A Avery January 26, 2018 at 7:32 pm #

    I believe putting an electronic device such as Alexa in the hands of a child should not be done. In the article “Co-Parenting With Alexa” by Rachel Botsman she allows her daughter to interact with Alexa. After reading this article, I began to wonder whether or not technology at such a young age was really helping us or hindering us. As Botsman spoke of her daughter, Grace, experience with Alexa I couldn’t help but say to myself say “wow she trust her with everything.” As Botsman continued her article, she even stated her daughter began to trust Alexa with what she wore and even to “buy her blueberries.” Without speaking to a child about how A.I such as Alexa could be dangerous, it actually could be. At the age of three (the age of Grace) children are in a sense like little sponges, soaking up and repeating everything they hear. One day a parent could say some kind of sensitive information around their young toddler and before they know it, they could be regurgitating it back to Alexa in the form of a question. What if a parent doesn’t want their child to learn about something yet, and a child takes it upon themselves to go ahead and ask Alexa? Is that when parents decide children should not be using A.I? Besides that, by introducing A.I to young children it is making them dependent on technology. Children can begin to say “why ask mom or dad this when I can just ask Alexa?” At that point, I believe Alexa will be taking away quality parent-child bonding. Today, we are very dependent on technology as it is and I think it is best to break that cycle early on instead of making children dependent on technology more. I see A.I and small children as a way to get children to stop asking so many questions to parents especially when they’re young. However, I can’t see “co-parenting with Alexa” as a smart thing to do for the benefit of the children.

  49. Adam Facella January 27, 2018 at 3:30 pm #

    I have always been skeptical about the “Alexa” concept, worrying about when it is actually listening and when it is just sitting there dormant. But, this article took a whole new concern on Alexa. I never thought about the way that children would soon be interacting with the device. Instead of playing with toys and asking parents questions, now Alexa is who the children are going to. I think that this is a very big concern because now this changes how parents are going to need to parent. Many homes do have these devices and it is a norm for children to see and use them. Alexa can be very dangerous for the children, thinking that they can talk to real people the way that they are talking to Alexa as well. The little girl in the article had concerns when telling Alexa to “shut up” because she was worried about her feelings. Soon, she will realize that Alexa is not a real person and no longer care about the feelings that Alexa has, and may begin to be rude to other people since she knows that she can do it to Alexa.
    Another reason that the concept makes me skeptical is after reading “1984” by George Orwell and seeing all of the predictions from his novel coming true. It is obvious that “Big Brother is watching”. Knowing that Alexa can hear whatever the user is saying is very scary. When people are having conversations, it is no longer personal because Amazon has control over Alexa and has access to the microphone. With this in mind, especially for children, there can be lots of personal information given up to the company, and then sold off to others. This can be concern if there is a conversation between family members regarding may personal topics even if it is as simple as weekend plans. There is no reason why there should be a robot listening to where you are going. So if people are using Echo devices or similar devices, I think it is important to be careful what you say in front of them, and make sure that children know that as well.

  50. Sapna Swayampakula January 27, 2018 at 7:09 pm #

    Technology is something that is very resourceful, but there must be a line that is drawn when it comes to using it for parenting. It is not something a parent can use to co-parents their child. Parenting is something that is the parent’s job, hence the word parent. It is not something a technical device should in charge of. Yes it is smart, but it cannot make the appropriate decisions a parent can make. Having a bot co-parents a child should not even be a consideration. That is not what it is meant for. It is considered a source of entertainment, and that is it. Because the bot accepts whatever the human spays to it, it could potentially rise an issue in the growth of children and their behavior.
    In the article, Grace, a girl who is no more than three years old, told Alexa to “shut up” and then looked shyly at her mom. The mom didn’t do anything, despite the fact Grace knew that it was not right to tell Alexa shut up, even if she wasn’t a living thing. Just because something doesn’t reciprocate feelings doesn’t mean it can be abused. This is a start to a bad behavior for Grace, because she will immediately assume that it is okay for her to speak that way to other people.
    The first mistake was that the mother used a device to co-parent her kid. The second mistake is that she did not reprimand her child for her bad choice in words. It is a minor thing now, because she was speaking to Alexa and it is not a real thing. However, this behavior has a high possibility of carrying over further into her childhood. This can affect her school, and it will be hard for her to get along with others.
    This article made me realize how dangerous technology I, especially for those who don’t know how to use is properly. It is something that should not be mistreated. And I personally believe that children at this age do not have any reason to be fiddling with technology. They should be playing with actual toys.

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