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When AI Becomes Child's Play

By MIT Technology Review

June 14, 2021

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Judith Danovitch, associate professor of psychological and brain sciences at the University of Louisville.

Lisa Anthony, associate professor of computer science at the University of Florida.

Despite their popularity with kids, tablets and other connected devices are built on top of systems that weren't designed for them to easily understand or navigate. But adapting algorithms to interact with a child isn't without its complications—as no one child is exactly like another.

Most recognition algorithms look for patterns and consistency to successfully identify objects. But kids are notoriously inconsistent. In an interview, professionals from varied disciplines discuss AI's relationship with kids.

"We do want children to continue to grow and develop and not necessarily use the AI as a crutch for all of that process, but we do want the AI to maybe help. It could act as a better support along the way..if we consider children's developmental needs, expectations, and abilities as we design these systems."

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