Avatars for young children

toytalk

A Wi-Fi Barbie Doll With the Soul of Siri

Ever since Siri appeared as a regular feature on the iPhone, certain young children — and, let’s face it, some of their parents — have spent hours chatting up the virtual assistant, curious about the details of her humanoid back story. Siri, where do you live? Siri, do you have a boyfriend? Siri, how old are you? At a time when grown-ups can use voice commands to find restaurants, change channels on their TVs or get directions, it seems logical that children would now expect devices to understand their speech and respond in kind. “To converse with a mobile device is an assumed truth if you are 10 years old today,” Oren Jacob, the chief executive of ToyTalk, a company that creates conversational characters for children, told me recently at the company’s headquarters in San Francisco. “That is not true of high school students.” ….[READ]

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