Toy manufacturer, Mattel, has withdrawn from the market its AI smart-home hub, aimed specifically at children. Similar to Amazon Echo, it was designed to sit in a child’s room, would always be on, and would track children’s sleeping, eating and play. It could switch on a light to soothe a crying baby, and its functionality and activities could change so that it could help an older child with homework. Mattel’s hope was that children would form a close emotional bond with the data-gathering device.
However, following petitions from the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood and the Story of Stuff Project, Mattel has withdrawn Aristotle from the market.
“Experts say little is known about the effects of tech devices on early childhood development, and it will take time to figure that out. But child privacy and child development experts are becoming increasingly uncomfortable with where the tech is heading.”