This isn’t your Gameboy Color world anymore.
Developers in China have created the world’s very first iPal, a talking robotic nanny that promises to keep kids age 3-8 entertained for a couple of hours at least. The iPal is 3-feet-tall and comes equipped with 25 motors, language understanding technology and cloud apps.
Why should kids spend the summer laying in their backyards watching clouds when they can access the cloud, right?
The iPal is designed to be a full-time companion and engage its autonomous learning engine to remember the preferences of their human companion and “increase its knowledge on subjects of interest to your child.” It even has an “emotion management system” that enables them to responds to a variety of human emotion, like uplifting kids when they can sense they’re upset.
This sounds cool in theory, maybe, but social psychology impresses how much social interaction kids need in their lives, especially at that age when they’re learning how to navigate the world appropriately.
Even Noel Sharkey, emeritus professor of artificial intelligence and robotics at the University of Sheffield, has been warning the world on what these technology developments could mean for mankind. In piece he wrote for Science, he impressed that “children could be left without human contact for many hours a day or perhaps for several days, and the possible psychological impact of the varying degrees of social isolation on development is unknown.”
What does this mean for the future of human development? We can only wait, pray and see.