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Can a robot change a nappy?

2017 December 12

The news that Google is developing an AI (Artificial Intelligence) nanny has been making the rounds and whilst it’s not a shocking announcement, it is a disturbing one.

In the past few years, we’ve seen a multitude of announcements about robots and other artificial intelligence that claim to be able to raise our children.

This includes ‘Aristotle’ a creation by Mattel, the creators of Barbie and Hot Wheels, which was scrapped earlier this year due to privacy and welfare concerns as the device was “always listening” and able to both video and audio record children via WiFi and could monitor for children waking up, falling asleep and talking to do things like say good morning, play lullabies to get children to fall asleep and to correct children who didn’t use their manners.

It’s safe to say that this intrusive, frankly terrifying device was quickly shut down and never actually went on sale.

The dangers of using technology to parent rather than human beings are unprecedented. What happens when a child becomes emotionally attached to a machine instead of a person? We’ve already touched on these dangers in our previous article: How You Can Help Prevent Internet Addiction.

When children interact with parents and carers, there’s so much more going on than the simple act of reading a story or singing a song. Through each activity performed, an emotional connection and bond are established and developed, leading to a complex relationship that can have long-term positive benefits for a child’s health and development; this is something that just can’t be replicated by artificial intelligence.

At nannyjob, we say that when it comes to looking after children, AI is not OK.

If you, like us, believe that your little ones need experienced nannies and not big technology companies to look after them, we’d like to reassure you that you’ll always be able to find your ideal nanny at nannyjob. Call us old-fashioned, but we prefer to champion the human touch (not to mention training, qualifications and experience) of our nannies and childcarers over the latest technology any day.

What are your thoughts on robot nannies and artificial intelligence in childcare? Get in touch via the comments!

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