|Mattel Is Cancelling Its “Alexa For Kids” After Privacy Uproar
By: Fast Company
Less than a year after the toymaker Mattel launched a AI-powered baby monitor called Aristotle, the company announced that it will table its controversial plans for the product after a petition from privacy and children’s health advocates gained traction.
Aristotle was supposed to be an Amazon Alexa for kids crossed with a smart baby monitor. It was designed to do things like soothe a child’s cries, answer their questions about the world, and even read bedtime stories–and it would learn over time from the child’s behavior. In essence, it was an AI that could act as an extra parent in the home.
But the device’s presence in kids’ bedrooms raised serious concerns from privacy advocates about data collection, as well as questions about how interacting with such a device could impact a toddler’s development. Two senators contacted Mattel with their concerns, and a petition against the product garnered 15,000 signatures.
Finally, after months of growing controversy, today Mattel said in a statement to The Washington Post that it has decided not to move forward with the product because it did not “fully align with Mattel’s new technology strategy.”
This article was published on Fast Company. A link to the original piece appears after the post.
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