How the Virtual Personal Assistants are affecting the Young Minds
Some years back, having an assistant who listens and responds to all your needs can be a thing for the elites. However, thanks to digital advances, nowadays, many households can afford their virtual assistants. These devices can share information, answer the user’s queries, and operate other connected electronic devices. These assistants have come a long way since their outset and have made life easier and more comfortable for users. Still, many doubters are attentive to the intrusion of AI at such a granular level of our lives.
Virtual Personal Assistants are here to Stay!
According to a report by eMarketer, in 2019, around 111.8 million people in the USA use a voice assistant at least monthly. These numbers are increasing, not just in the United States but in other developed and developing countries. Every technology has always had its pros and cons, and virtual assistants are no exception. They are designed and invented for comfort, convenience, and enriched user experience. They pose a threat to privacy, and they may lead to over-dependence on technology. With voice technology like Google Assistant, Samsung’s Bixby, Alexa, or Siri become a part of our day-to-day lives. Therefore, we must take into review the effects of this technology on the younger generation.
Pros of Virtual Assistants
Let us first look at the positives of the virtual personal assistants:
- Many voice assistant companies have branched out to design devices targeted towards the education of young children. It provides children with precise information, aims feedback, and helps in their cognitive learning. A digital tutor cannot replace a human teacher. As it can serve as a learning aid in the classrooms to recite poetry, read out information, and verify queries.
- Young minds are full of curiosity because of busy lifestyles and nuclear living. So cannot answer all the queries of these curious minds. Voice assistants can come in handy, as they can answer almost all the topics right from history to current affairs.
- Many special-abled children find virtual assistants helpful for information exchange and extra personal attention. This may otherwise not be possible in a classroom with many students.
Cons of Virtual Assistants
While these benefits are changing the lives of young learners, this technology also gives access to many deterrents. Here is a look at some of concerning cons of virtual assistants with the generation of tomorrow:
- Youngsters are getting used to lifting out commands at these devices, which respond to commands and wake words. In the real world, not every person will or should behave as a personal assistant to children. However, since kids are so habitual of getting the answers they need, so they expect similar conduct from their peers. This gives rise to behavioral problems amongst the young generation;
- There is a concern amongst parents and teachers that many young have affection for AI over an actual interaction. While battling the pains of screen addiction amongst teens. This preference for virtual assistants made elders worried about the social development of the coming generation;
- Artificial intelligence can only go so far with engaging the ever-curious young minds. For example, a virtual assistant might repeat a bedtime story for the infant for the umpteenth time. Still, it cannot add the nuances, the finer details of a parent or caregiver telling the story. It concerns that many kids have viewed these machines as a primary source for simulation and information. That has led them to depend highly on technology.
As with any disruptive technology, it will continue to grow and evolve. The designs of virtual personal assistants are made by keeping the younger generation in mind.
So they can teach them good manners, to put a limit on their usage, and for their overall better development. However, as elders, we must decide where to draw a line and when to pull the plug!