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AI-Powered Kids’ Toy Raises Concerns Over Online Safety

TL;DR

  • AI-powered toys raise concerns about online safety for children because of potential hacking vulnerabilities.
  • Heightened vigilance is crucial to protect children from the rising threat of online grooming, which poses significant risks.
  • Collective efforts of parents, educators, policymakers, and tech companies are needed to ensure children’s online safety in the digital age.

In an era where technology intertwines deeply with everyday life, concerns over the safety of AI-powered devices aimed at children have been amplified. Recent revelations surrounding a toy marketed as a “smart companion for your child” and available on Amazon have sparked parental concerns regarding potential vulnerabilities to online predators. Security concern was raised by web security firm Kaspersky of “perverts hacking into the toy and secretly communicating with a child via video chat.”

An AI-powered robot is a gateway for online perils

Security firm Kaspersky’s Nikolay Frolov emphasized that even high-priced smart toys may harbor vulnerabilities exploitable by malicious actors. Despite assurances from the toy’s manufacturers, concerns linger regarding the potential for unauthorized access to the device, posing significant risks to children’s online safety.

With nearly 34,000 online grooming crimes against children reported in the past six years, according to the NSPCC, the alarming statistics underscore the urgent need for heightened vigilance in safeguarding children from online threats. Last year alone, authorities handled 6,350 cases of child sexual communication offenses, highlighting the pervasive nature of the issue.

Amazon and toy makers share responsibility for safety

Considering these revelations, experts urge parents to exercise increased vigilance and closely monitor their children’s interactions with AI-powered toys. While technological advancements offer exciting opportunities, they also bring unprecedented risks, necessitating proactive measures to mitigate potential harm.

Despite inquiries into the matter, both Amazon and the Mumbai-based toy maker have yet to issue statements addressing the concerns raised by security experts and parents alike. The silence from key stakeholders further exacerbates anxieties surrounding the safety and security of AI-powered devices targeting children.

Ensuring online safety is a collective responsibility

As the digital landscape evolves, ensuring children’s online safety demands a collective effort from parents, educators, policymakers, and technology companies. Heightened awareness, coupled with robust cybersecurity measures, is imperative in safeguarding the well-being of the youngest members of society from online threats.

The emergence of AI-powered toys underscores the intersection of technology and child development, presenting opportunities and challenges. While these innovations promise to enrich children’s play experiences, they also expose vulnerabilities that nefarious individuals may exploit. As online safety debate intensifies, stakeholders must prioritize protecting children in the digital age, emphasizing vigilance, education, and collaboration in safeguarding their well-being.

Here’s a post-note as we go to press: the Mumbai-based manufacturer said it had taken action to remedy the problem. It’s most-awaited, but how about taking toys with vulnerabilities off the list while awaiting the promised upgrade, Amazon?

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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Glory Kaburu

Glory is an extremely knowledgeable journalist proficient with AI tools and research. She is passionate about AI and has authored several articles on the subject. She keeps herself abreast of the latest developments in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning and writes about them regularly.

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