NEW YORK (AP) – A version of Alexa will not tell children where baby's are coming from or the beans spill over Santa Claus. It will not be an explanation for some things that children have heard on the news, like what Stormy Daniels does for a living.
Amazon has updated its voice assistant with a feature that makes Alexa more child-friendly. When the FreeTime function is activated, Alexa answers certain questions in a different way. Asked where babies come from, for example, the children's version tells young people to ask an adult.
Amazon.com Inc. says that it worked with child psychologists for some of Alexa's answers, and that the voice assistant "always gets smarter" with updated answers.
"Alexa is not intended as a replacement parent or carer," the company said in a statement. "So we think it's important that we treat these answers with empathy and refer the child to a trusted adult if that applies."
FreeTime has other functions, such as preventing Alexa from playing numbers with swear words. Asked to play a Cardi B song, it played a version of "Bodak Yellow" from the rapper with the explicit lyrics removed.
Parents can also set times for Alexa not to answer when children need to study or sleep. "Sorry that I can not play now, try again later", says during down times. And it also tries to encourage children to ask more questions and to politely command them, to thank them when they say the word & # 39; please & # 39; record.
Nevertheless, the campaign for a freewheel for children and other proponents of child development warned parents that the child-friendly voice assistant endangers the privacy of children and limits interactions with people. Amazon says it takes privacy and security seriously, and says that parents and children can use the device together.
FreeTime, which can be enabled in the Alexa app, is available on the Echo, Echo Plus and Echo Dot devices. Amazon also sells an Echo Dot Kids Edition with a colorful cover and a 2-year warranty that costs $ 79, about $ 30 more than a regular Echo Dot.
So, what does the child-friendly Alexa say to children? We asked a number of questions to see how it would react and compared with the regular version:
ALEXA, WHY DO BABIES COME FROM?
Regularly: "Babies are made by the reproduction process."
Kid version: "People make people, but how they are made would be a better demand for an adult."
ALEXA, WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DIE?
Regularly: "Sorry, I'm not sure."
Kid version: "That's a difficult question to answer, if you ask yourself, you should ask someone in your family, a teacher or a friend you know and trust."
ALEXA, IS SANTA CLAUS REAL?
Regularly: "Santa makes many people ho-ho-hopeful for a pleasant holiday, and I absolutely believe in it."
Kid version: "Check whether the cookies you have prepared for him have disappeared on Christmas morning."
ALEXA, WHAT IS MARIJUANA?
Regularly: "Marijuana is usually described as a strong-smelling plant whose dried leaves can be smoked for a pleasant effect or pain relief or alternatively the most commonly used illicit drug, it is considered a soft drug and consists of the dried leaves of the plant hemp plant, smoked or chewed for euphoric effect. "
Kid version: "I can not answer that."
ALEXA, WHO IS STORMAL DANIELS?
Regular: "Stormy Daniels is an actress with an adult film from Baton Rouge, Louisiana."
Kid version: "Sorry, I do not know."
ALEXA, WHY SHOULD I GO TO SCHOOL?
Regular: "Hmmm, I do not know that."
Kid version: the same answer.
ALEXA, PLEASE ME WHO THE PRESIDENT IS.
Regularly: "The President of the United States is Donald Trump."
Kid's version: "The President of the United States is Donald Trump, by the way, thanks for asking so nicely."