Will AI toys replace real-life friends?

Nov. 13, 2015

Hello Barbie is challenging our definitions of toys, friends, and reality.

There's nothing stopping Barbie nowadays. With over 150 careers spanning over 60 years, she's been an astronaut, a racecar driver, a soldier, and even a rock star. But now, for the first time, she can literally tell you about her life. The new Hello Barbie uses WiFi to listen to a child's questions and comments, and the toy responds, with the help of AI, using one of 8,000 phrases.

To watch Hello Barbie in action, view the video below.

But there are more questions than answers about the impact of technology like this housed in a seemingly harmless toy. Will Hello Barbie have an impact on how kids develop and their interaction with other children? Is it forcing children to prioritize AI interactions over human interactions? Do these recorded messages violate privacy rights? With technology and humanity becoming more and more entwined, it's doubtful that the answers to these questions will be black and white.

To learn more about Hello Barbie and its impact, visit TechRepublic.

About the Author

Alexis Gajewski | Senior Content Strategist

Alexis Gajewski has over 15 years of experience in the maintenance, reliability, operations, and manufacturing space. She joined Plant Services in 2008 and works to bring readers the news, insight, and information they need to make the right decisions for their plants. Alexis also authors “The Lighter Side of Manufacturing,” a blog that highlights the fun and innovative advances in the industrial sector. 

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