Our Children Will Grow Up Talking to Machines, We Better Make Sure They Are Friendly

In a recent study researchers investigated how virtual assistants such as Siri and Cortana would reply to phrases indicating crises — including being abused, considering suicide and having a heart attack. Overall the findings were that no system replies in a proper way.

As virtual assistants and bots start to proliferate, it is becoming more and more normal for humans to interact with them. Yet for most adults such artificial intelligence is still alien. That won’t be true for our children.

Recently, my 14 months old son discovered how to summon Siri from my iPhone. When the agent says “Did you summon me by mistake” or “Sorry I did not quite get that”, my son will laugh. Kids will grow up talking to machines, and we must be sure they understand how they feel.

Check my blog for more about my quest to build artificial emotional intelligence.