AI parental aids cannot credibly claim expertise3 min read . Updated: 01 Dec 2022, 11:05 PM IST
- They are offering to take parental supervision to new levels, even flagging the moods of our children. But this opens a disturbing frontier that AI tool makers and users should be wary of
It takes a village to raise a child. Without one, parenting can be quite a hard slog. Artificial intelligence (AI), though, has been claiming it has the answer. A couple of years ago, a company launched iPal, a robot that offered to wake up a child, talk, play games, read out stories and even guide her morning routine. Another company sells a smart bassinet, Snoo, that promises to coo and rock a baby to sleep if its AI sensors find the child fussing. Nanit is an HD-camera-fitted baby monitor that tracks a baby’s sleep through the night and gives parents a report in the morning. And ChatterBaby maps an infant’s cries against a database of wails to interpret why the tiny one is howling. Hungry? Scared? Or angry at being left alone? Indeed, AI parental aids are a fast-emerging market. Many of them are aimed at parents of older children too. As kids grow up glued to digital devices linked to the internet, they inevitably become vulnerable to addiction, cyber-bullies, sexual predators and other perils. Understandably, parents want underage digital natives monitored in some way to keep them out of harm’s way. Enter, AI, with an expanding suite of surveillance tools.
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