The plan to introduce the new device known as Aristotle has been canceled. This information was announced on Wednesday by Mattel. This is a device that had targeted to hit the market by 2018 with its major consumers being children from birth till adolescence. This plan was canceled after child advocacy groups raised some concerns with the device. Parents and lawmakers also raised concerns about the effect of the artificial intelligence device on the well-being of the children, their development, and privacy. For instance, the device faced problems even before it hit the market. Story of Stuff Project and Commercial-Free Childhood had already filed a case in court urging the company not to release the gadget. The case had been in court since May. At the same time, a petition against the device had already received 15,000 signatures. The aim here is to discourage babies and adolescents from using data collecting devices such as Aristotle. Lawmakers have also opposed the decision to unveil the project. Just some few weeks ago, Massachusetts Democratic Senator Ed Markey in conjunction with a representative from Texas known as Joe Barton joined hands and wrote a letter to Mattel. In the letter, the two told the company that the device is likely to bring about privacy concerns from family members and the children.
Concerns about the privacy shortcomings of Aristotle were first brought to light by industry experts. This is a voice-activated Wi-Fi device that has a companion camera. The company said that this would be the first device of its kind. Once the device has been placed in the room of a child, it can be used for several purposes that include teaching them, entertaining them and comforting them. The device has also been programmed to help the children at each development stage in life. This is an indication that the device has the capability of evolving with the needs of the child, adjusting in every case. The device has the same features like the ones of Alexa of Amazon. Some of its notable features include soothing a crying baby and playing interactive games with the child. At the same time, the device has the capability of teaching the child ABC’s. Aristotle can even help the child tackle homework. One of the main concern by Josh Golin who works for Commercial-Free Childhood as an executive director is a device that has a microphone and a camera in the life of a child.