Blog 10

I came across many articles about artificial intelligence becoming “friends” with children but one stood out to me and it nearly convinced me to join the other side of the argument. My original argument was that robots could not and should not be allowed to help children with their feelings. The counter argument that I came across was that robots that teach our children isn’t such a bad idea. It brought up many facts to try to convince me. The robots can be used to help analyze children’s emotions as said in an nbcnews article “Consider Pepper, a 4-foot-tall interactive robot able to recognize human emotional states by analyzing voice tone, facial expressions, and other non-verbal cues.” I’m not too sure how absolute the robot is at scanning our emotions but I still find it sketchy. Later on in the article, it talks about robots starting to help out as assistant teachers, “Placed in preschool classes, social robots like Pepper could use their powerful emotion-recognition engines to spot minor squabbles, which would allow teachers to focus on the larger meltdowns that occur. The robots may also be programmed with established negotiation strategies to better resolve conflicts and further reinforce skills children are developing” and I somewhat agree with it. I think the robots can help out with younger children especially since they portray emotions more. Another study shows that special needs students respond better to technology, “For one thing, a vast body of research shows some kids with autism respond well to technology in general, including computers, phones, tablets, and robotic toys. Studies also suggest robots are appealing to special needs children because they’re less complex and more predictable than people, less intimidating, perpetually patient and consistent in the tone of voice and mood, and highly customizable and adaptable to children’s specific needs.” I found this very interesting and it started to persuade me to think that robots aren’t so bad after all. Many people against robots will say that all a child needs is their parents but their parents may not ALWAYS be around for the kid(s). The author of the article brings up a good point about the robots that I didn’t think of, but it is definitely right, “Once you repeat something for the 10-millionth time, you’re not going to want to do it again. But robots don’t have that problem and children love the repetition”. After reading through both articles from apposing sides, I still think that robots are not quite ready to take on the real world yet.

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