Tech- Study suggests voice-controlled devices can impede Child development

Tech- Study suggests voice-controlled devices can impede Child development

A study reveals that voice-controlled devices that act as assistants can be detrimental to infant development.

A recent study suggests that utilizing voice-controlled assistants can have an effect on a child’s social and cognitive development over the course of their lifetime.

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In today’s world, we are surrounded by AI-powered devices such as Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Google Home. These devices may be used for a variety of tasks, such as setting an alarm, playing music, asking inquiries, and so on. However, according to a study that was recently published in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood, the use of electronic devices like smartphones and tablets can have a negative impact on a child’s development, particularly when it comes to their capacity for empathy, compassion, and critical thinking.


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“The numerous repercussions on children include improper responses, inhibiting social development, and restricting learning possibilities,” said Anmol Arora, a researcher at the University of Cambridge and a co-author of the study.

According to the co-author of the study, the primary worry in this scenario is that youngsters may attach human features to these machines, which are, in essence, merely taught words and sounds that are mashed together to produce sentences.

He went on to say that infants anthropomorphize objects and then go on to imitate them by simply mimicking them, including their failure to adjust their tone, volume, emphasis, or intonation. He said that this is an indication that children imitate technology. As a result of this inability to engage in non-verbal communication, these devices make for a terrible manner of learning how to communicate with other people in social settings.


On the other hand, in the normal course of human relationships, children are given corrective feedback if they behave in an unacceptable manner; this is something that a gadget can in no way guarantee. In addition, the youngsters are not automatically expected to utilize phrases such as “please” or “thank you” when interacting with these devices. According to Arora, children may learn “extremely restrictive forms of questioning and always in the form of a demand” as a result of the devices’ restrictions on the types of queries to which they can respond. This may result in children acquiring “pretty narrow forms of questioning.”


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He then went on to emphasize the difficulties with recognizing different accents, such as how there is a possibility of misinterpretation and of the child being exposed to something that is unsuitable if the child is young and does not pronounce certain terms appropriately. As an example of an inappropriate response, he highlighted a gadget that once advised a ten-year-old to try touching a live plug with a coin. He said this was one of the wrong responses he has seen.

Tech- Study suggests voice-controlled devices can impede Child development



However, the report also goes on to add that despite the fact that using voice assistants as a social companion for lonely people has showed potential, it is not totally apparent if the same thing applies to youngsters, according to the study.

The researcher stated that “this is particularly important at a time when children might already have had social development impaired as a result of COVID-19 restrictions and when (the children) might have been spending more time isolated with smart devices at home.” “This is particularly important at a time when children might already have had social development impaired as a result of COVID-19 restrictions,” the researcher said.

According to a story from the Guardian, a newly published study that was conducted by Dr. dám Miklósi demonstrates that the usage of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets is’rewiring’ the brains of children in a way that will have long-term implications.

Miklósi is quoted as saying that “at the present, these devices are really basic since the individuals who design them do not care about human connection or their impact on children’s development.” He went on to say that while the corporations are aware of how the gadgets are used by adults, the way youngsters use them and the impact they have is “quite different.” According to the researcher, this suggests that the concern should be taken more seriously by businesses and that the importance of this research cannot be overstated.

According to Dr. Caroline Fitzpatrick, holder of the Canada Research Chair in Digital Media Use by Children and Its Implications for Promoting Togetherness: An Ecosystemic Approach, there is not much reason for fear, as she stated in an interview with the Guardian. She believes that there is no reason for concern so long as parents set appropriate boundaries for their children and ensure that their children have adequate opportunities to engage with their caregivers and other children their age.


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