Digital Parenting

What do you think of the new digital parenting apps (e.g., the Baby Cry Translator App, Family Tracker, and the Find My Kids App) and recent developments in baby tech wearables like Smart Diapers and Smart Pacifiers? New wifi-connected sleepers like Mimo can stream valuable data straight to your phone or tablet. This infant data includes respiration patterns, sleep activity, skin temperature, and body position.

mimo

Smart Alarm

Cry App

I am concerned about our increasing desire to assign our most human jobs to caring machines, screens, and data-collection devices. Also, when the proliferation of data from smartphones, wearables, and social media is stored by powerful and integrated software, data will no longer merely reflect who we are. It will serve to determine our identities.

For example, a new modality for tracking children’s minds is the CogniToy Dino. This wifi smart toy is powered by IBM’s Watson supercomputer. The CogniToy uses machine learning to evolve and interact alongside children and engage them in meaningful conversations about their thoughts, hopes, dreams, desires, fears, and interests. The educational dinosaur toy develops a unique personality or “algorithmic identity” based on the information that its child companion shares. All of this data is stored in the Watson Developer Cloud where it can be tracked, hacked, and data-mined.

CogniToy