Why Kids Should Call the Robot ‘It’

Today’s online Wall Street Journal has an article with the title " Why Kids Should Call the Robot ‘It’" that explores interactions of young kids with AI or AI-like things. The article doesn’t appear to be paywalled at the moment, although that could change: https://www.wsj.com/articles/why-kids-should-call-the-robot-it-11566811801

Some key points from the summary:

  • Use the pronoun “it” when referring to a robot.
  • Display a positive attitude toward the beneficial effects of AI.
  • Encourage your child to explore how robots are built.
  • Explain that humans are the source of AI-driven devices’ intelligence.
  • Guard against AI-propelled toys that presume too much, such as claiming to be your child’s best friend.
  • Invite children to consider the ethics of AI design, such as how a bot should behave after winning a game.
  • Encourage skepticism about information received from smart toys and devices.

An interesting article considering so many of the toys available today display AI type tendencies. When the AI is incorporated into a doll/action figure of some type it will make this more of a challenge. Robots like I use in class look very neutral so it is easy to assume the “it”.

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