All technological advances tend to be viewed with skepticism until, little by little, they are normalized. The era of Virtual Assistants has reached the family environment. It happened with the radio, with television, with the computer and now also with Artificial Intelligence.
On the other hand, and taking into account this moment of digital transformation, we find generations that have been born and are growing up with systems based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) at home. Seeing them interact with them and assimilate them as another element, typical of the home ecosystem, is as fun as it is interesting.
In fact, thanks to them, we can learn countless things. Although the most important, and the one that we must always keep in mind, is that children learn by imitation and it is the parents who most influence them. It is therefore up to parents to teach them how to deal with technology.
Children test Virtual Assistants
The little ones have a lot of fun interacting with this type of attendees. Regardless of the actions they can take (like playing Questions and Answers, in the case of Movistar Home), they love to go a step further and put them to the test. The they face very complex mathematical operations, they ask them to sing a song, they ask them how they are (as well as other “personal ” matters) or ask them to play cartoons on YouTube.
Another test that VAS must face is understanding. Aspects like lisps, sesions, or difficulty pronouncing certain words, makes this exchange of information really difficult at times. To avoid such errors, Telefónica’s CDO unit decided that it was the children themselves who would train Aura, Telefónica’s AI with cognitive abilities. Without a doubt, it is one of the most important challenges that must be worked on constantly, to facilitate understanding and get answers faster and simpler.
The most common fears when using VA
Parents, on the other hand, doubt about different fronts posed by the use of this type of assistants. First, some have expressed concern that communication with them can alter the social skills your children have with their environment. They stressed that, by speaking to them more directly, by not needing ask for things “please” and forget to say ” thank you”, could cause a mismatch in the way they relate to other children and adults.
Perhaps at this point it is even more important to educate from home so that the VA, however much they may occupy a privileged place at home, do not become a “member of the family”; if not that they are just a tool to facilitate their day to day.
Another of the most recurring concerns is that AVS can collect information about the little ones by listening to conversations without their permission. Regarding this fact, Telefónica has been one of the first companies in the world to have Ethical Principles in Artificial Intelligence. In fact, Aura, on the Movistar Home device, has a ” wake up world”, OK Aura, which works as an alarm to wake up the AI. This means that until it detects this key, it will not process the information it can hear.
At the moment, we will have to wait to see how this children-machines relationship evolves. What is certain is that it will bring us many ingenious and surprising interactions.