Children who are exposed to voice assistants, such as Amazon Alexa, Apple’s Siri, or Google Home, growing up could suffer from issues involving the ability to empathize, be compassionate, and be critical, a new study found.

Co-author Anmol Arora, whose research is published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood journal, said that technology is influencing the young generation in many ways, particularly in making appropriate responses, which signal an impedance to both their social and cognitive development.

Arora highlights the concern as being kids’ misattribution of human behavior and characteristics to devices that otherwise produce “essentially a list of trained words and sounds mashed together to make a sentence.”

Via the anthropomorphizing of the device, the children copy what seems to be monotonous responses to interactions, in terms of tone, intonation, emphasis, and volume. Adding to the problem also is the apparent lack of certain automatic expressions, often with politeness as an overtone, such as with the use of the word “please” or “thank you.”

Further, there seems to be worry over the extent of questions that children can learn and how such queries are enacted (in the form of a demand).

Last but not the least, is also the issue of how kids learn accents, which not only drastically the child’s being but also alter their interpretation of certain words or instructions.

Source: The Guardian



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