WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOUR CHILD’S FRIEND IS AN AI TOY THAT TALKS BACK?
‘My Friend Cayla’ is an internet-connected doll that uses voice recognition technology to chat and interact with children in real time. Cayla’s conversations are recorded and transmitted online to a voice analysis company.
This raised concerns that hackers might spy on children or communicate directly with them as they play with the doll. There are also concerns about how kids’ voice data is used. In 2017, German regulators urged parents to destroy the doll, classifying it as an “illegal espionage apparatus”.
Cayla is just one example of a new wave of artificial intelligence (AI) toys that “befriend” children. Manufacturers often claim they are educational, enhancing play and helping children develop social skills. But consumer groups warn that smart toys, like other “things” we connect to the internet, might put security and privacy at risk.
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