Alexa, what are you teaching my children?


Alexa, what are you teaching my children?

Does the in-home assistant encourage kids to be ruder and more uncouth?

Tom Hoggins

Poor old Alexa. Not only is Amazon’s personal assistant routinely accused of listening to our every conversation – ready to send every exchange off to its corporate overlord to help it sell us more stuff we don’t need – it is now being blamed for turning our children into rude and selfish oiks.

A report by Childwise as far back as last January claimed that the rise of voice-activated smart speakers could have “implications around how children will learn to communicate”. The suggestion is that having a robot at your beck and call, ready to respond to any request without the need for a “please” or “thank you”, is doing our kids no favours.

Research director Simon Leggett said: “Will children become accustomed to saying and doing whatever they want to a digital assistant ‘do this, do that’ – talking as aggressively or rudely as they like without any consequences?..

This article is reserved for Times Select subscribers.
A subscription gives you full digital access to all Times Select content.

Times Select

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems?
Email or call 0860 52 52 00.

Next Article