Using AI to Monitor Kids Online

January 23, 2007

Slashdot | Using AI to Monitor Kids Online “An Australian startup believes that the best way to protect your children online is through an artificially intelligent software program. The inventors of this idea are banking on children’s attachment to pets. The creature’s ‘cuteness’ and helpfulness will ingratiate the software with the child, so that he or she will respect it and listen to it, or even find it as a likable companion. Agent-based internet applications are nothing new but for concerned parents, this might be an admirable solution to what is perceived by many to be a growing problem. From one of the inventors: ‘Of course, we’re also planning to release a version of the Moji IM for teenagers and adults, but we’re focusing on children at the moment.'”

The whole idea of getting a child to trust a bit of software to tell it what’s right and wrong should make programers and parents alike cringe. Not to mention anyone who is aware of the uses to which this information can/will be put to in the name of marketting to children, which is bad enough as it is. I wonder how long it will take before children are ‘told’ that certain sites are better than others, directing them away from sites that don’t promote a particular political or corporate agenda. Or that ‘controversial’ issues somehow fall into the not to be trusted category.

When it comes to children and technology, the goal is to educate parents and provide safe opportunities for children online, NOT to fob it off to a bit of software for all the myriad reasons.

Just imagine what these children will grow up like when they’ve just trusted the software from their earliest days. I cringe.

Here’s the original article: The Star Online : TechCentral – Malaysia Technology

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