Let’s rewind to our childhood.
As kids, we would play with our toys all the time. With Barbie, we would play dress ups and play shops. We would talk to her and change our voices to make it as if Barbie was actually talking back to us.
Now with the new phenomenon of the Internet of Things, she actually can!
This new Barbie doll names ‘Hello Barbie’ that incorporates hearing sensors to be able to make sense of the verbal cues within the environment. From there, it will be able to aggregate data about the agent–being the young girl or boy using the Barbie. This aggregation of data allows for the Barbie doll to remember different aspects about the lives of its agent and store it in a cloud. From there the Barbie gathers data from the internet in order to respond appropriately. This responding mechanism is a characteristic of the Internet of Things where devices that aren’t naturally connected to the internet are able to carry out actions of actuation. This means that they can make informed choices based on the information they have stored and the information they can retrieve from the internet.
“Hello Barbie doll listens and remembers the user’s likes and dislikes, giving everyone their own unique experience,” says Mattel.
Move aside Barbie, there’s a new cool girl and power couple in town. Barbie 2.0 and the internet are the hottest couple in school.
But with the increase of human to machine and machine to machine interaction and two way dialogue, what will this mean for human to human interaction in the years to come?
Will human interaction begin to dwindle as we replace real friends with AI friends with fake emotion and empathy?
Also, there is the threat of privacy and the identity curation of children. With Hello Barbie’s ability to store recordings of the child’s voice and the child’s interests, how will the data be protected?