Children Set to Cause a Rise in Smart Speakers
According to a recent study from Internet Matters, an online safety body, voice assistants such as Alexa and Siri are becoming more popular in children’s bedrooms, adding that parents must devote more time understanding new the new technologies.
The pandemic has accelerated by “three to four years” the implementation of the latest technologies at home, experts say, and in the next five years families are far more dependent on voice-enabled gadgets.
Lynne Hall, from the University of Sunderland Professor of Computational Science, said that a number of new notable voice assistants would appear.
Amazon has now introduced the latest new Samuel L-Jackson voice to the Alexa devices, but it does not allow all voice commands.
According to the study “Living The Future,” 42% of families have used technology more frequently in the past 3 months – online games played together (34%), lectures (51%), streaming videos (41%) and online shopping (36%) – based on surveys of parents and university students.
Just 7% of parents said they want to go back home full-time, potentially pushing a boom in home-technology controlled by voice assistants, said the study.
“The home is becoming less and less private and we need to think about what data is being shared,” said Carolyn Bunting, the chief executive of Internet Matters.
While voice assistants typically use voice recognition to process orders, Apple, Amazon and Google have all used voice centre employees to verify recordings and, according to the Bloomberg study of last year, many have heard children share their home address and phone number.
Hall said her study found that almost from the day they were born children encountered voice assistants. “ Women are buying a voice assistant for their child’s bedroom when they’ve had the baby” she said.
Children don’t become friends with their voice-enabled gadgets, says Hall. “They don’t anthropomorphise. It’s very much a tool. But voice assistants are starting to learn how little children speak. Children try to teach the voice assistant if it doesn’t understand – they give it more information . ”
Since parents play an important role in language learning of children, unresolved concerns emerge as to how listening to a mother or dad may have an effect on their growth.
In their book The Smart Wife, Australian university researchers Yolande Strengers and Jenny Kennedy shared reservations about societal expectations, as the devices are often voiced by young women, taking orders and connected to domestic duties.
Bunting demanded more enforcement. The government ‘s online endangerment bill, obliging internet companies to prevent children seeing harmful content, is likely to be presented this year.
Bunting said tech businesses need to create a web for the children as well. “It’s wrong that in the Covid pandemic we saw six or seven-year-olds up to secondary school age children being thrust into Houseparty and Whatsapp video chats. None of those services are designed for little people. We need safe playgrounds for children online. ”