Alexa is a virtual assistant device developed by Amazon. Amazon announced just before Christmas that it sold “tens of millions” of these Alexa devices in 2018. And If you are fascinated with this technology and bought one on Christmas then you should know that it is double-edged sword.
Last week, a mom in New Jersey caught her son red-handed using this virtual assistant Alexa device to help with his math homework.
The mother Yerelen Cuev, took to twitter and posted this short 11-second clip of her 6-year- old son Jariel asking Alexa to solve the age-old math question, “What is 5 minus 3?”
“It was just any regular day of doing homework,” Cueva told The New York Post about the incident. That video put out by the mother garnered more than 8.3 million views.
That video of the boy asking a question to Alexa and getting an answer followed by an adorable thanks also threw up a slew of questions about how children growing up with virtual assistants in their homes will interact with these devices. Recently, Google introduced its “Pretty Please” feature which rewards children for being polite when requesting things from Google assistant. The mom said however that the child thanked Alexa in very polite manner, in contrast to the fears that some technologist have had that a new generation would grow up basically barking orders at their devices.
“A child can now converse with a piece of faceless technology,”says Dubai family counselor Katie Patrick in an interview with The National. This seems like one of the coolest things in a technology obsessed world but it has many drawbacks too. Too many people have got them installed in their homes without thinking about its ramifications, like how their kids will actually learn anything if they get all their homework answers from Alexa.
So next time before you are going to get the next new thing on offer in this tech savvy and tech driven world - be sure you know what you and are your kids are going in for.