Aristotle, The Cortana powered Kid-Parent Specific AI Device has been cancelled for Privacy Concerns

Aristotle by Nabi is a smart home hub for kids, and parents. It is powered by Microsoft Cognitive Services as of now and includes Cortana Intelligent Services. This was announced on January 5 this year, and now the news is coming, via The Washington Post,  that Mattel, the primary company behind it, is canceling the device going further.

This device was completely dedicated for Parents and Kids and includes required features like baby wake up, read books, give foreign language lessons, and so on. The primary reason why Mattel is canceling the device is the Privacy concerns, and in their words “fully align with Mattel’s new technology strategy.

Source: Mattel

This is another blow for Microsoft which thought of bringing great AI & Speaker based experience to every home. It was only today they also made the Harman Kardon Invoke Speakes official which is poorly priced. Here are the quick features that were expected from Aristotle:

The device is a result of a partnership between companies like Microsoft, Qualcomm, Silk Labs, and so on. Here is the list of features:

  • The hub is powered by Qualcomm Technologies’ Smart Home Reference Platform based on Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 212 processor.
  • Voice Activated AI with baby-centric features.
  • Smart Light System which supports popular OEMs like Phillips, Hue, and others.
  • Play songs when the baby cries and turn on dynamic lighting.
  • It comes with a camera which lets you monitor your kids, and also Identify objects, and movement.
  • The platform has been built with COPPA compliance in mind, recognizing parental concerns about children’s online privacy.
  •  Includes e-commerce integration which will let you re-order or look for deals, and it can be automated.

The platform on which Aristotle is running includes both a parent mode and child mode. Parents can set parameters, and customization for child integration including requiring them to use the word “please”. It will come with an app which will let you configure it over WiFi network. Here are some pre-defined kid modes.

  • Aristotle toddler – Use audio, visual and tactile learning methods for ABCs, 123s first words, sing-alongs and story time.
  • Aristotle kid – Homework helper, entertainment unit to watch and listen to music, playmate to play 2-player voice games against.
  • Aristotle tween – More sophisticated learning capabilities including foreign language lessons, in addition to core entertainment functions

It is interesting to note, that the Mattel is actually concerned not only about data privacy, but also the impact of a kid growing up with AI is not really known, and its only up to the parents to decide. Apart from this, the AI will keep learning about the child without any restrictions as he grows up, and it is concerning. Check out the detailed analysis at the Washington Post.