Artificial Intelligence (AI) and parenting is now a thing. We all seem to be newly addicted to AI assistants and we certainly love reading about them, too. But how can they help family life in a real sense? Here are some ideas.
An AI fitness app
Called Luca & Friends, this is an AI that gets kids into fitness using game-style interactions. The makers say they combine fitness and cutting-edge AI technology. And they sneak in some learning too.
The company says that AI is the most talked-about technology right now, and that one of the most remarkable features within the AI field is motion tracking.
“It is a software that tracks the screen and uses machine learning to detect the slightest movements that a user makes in front of a camera. With user-friendly interfaces that will make your kids feel as though they are in a different dimension.”
The idea is that when the kids are home, they don’t need to be sitting on a couch playing games, they can be moving and learning in augmented reality. No more feeling guilty about putting kids in front of a screen while you cook dinner!
AI-written and illustrated kids’ book
Sick of reading stories about random hungry caterpillars? Or cats without hats? Then perhaps you might consider this. There is now an AI that not only writes your kid into a story, but also generates illustrations that have their face incorporated into pictures of the main character.
All you do is upload pics of your kid, and choose what kind of hero you want them to be. These heroes range from chefs, firefighters, scientists, pirates, astronauts or rock stars. They could also be a banker, but maybe rethink that one while the Silicon Valley Bank drama rolls on.
You also upload you child’s name and the AI does its work. It magics the book together for you, and your child becomes the next banker of a bank that doesn’t collapse.
The product is delivered as a PDF, which then you can print out. Or you can get it made into a book via the site with a delivery fee.
Kids can learn a language with an AI chatbuddy
While language lessons can be expensive and a hassle, there are companies offering AI chat buddies that teach your kids languages using live conversation. One of them is called Galaxy Kids.
Kids are rewarded for their achievements with praise and cute sounds, just like a game.
It is free to download and some early levels of the language lessons don’t cost anything, so you can try it out before committing to paid levels. There are different apps around that offer different language lessons, but this particular one offers Chinese and English lessons. And the earlier we start learning a language, the easier it is.
Of course, the way you learn a language is to speak it! What this AI app promises, is that if the child learns some basic words, then they can start having simple conversations with the AI. Next, your kid and the AI will be speaking in a language that you don’t understand, plotting to steal the ice cream.
Many kids who learn languages can be afraid to speak their second language in the real world in case they make a mistake. However speaking to an AI may take away these fears.
For those parents looking to get rid of cram school and language lesson fees, this might be a good go-to. And, as AI makes some jobs increasingly redundant, language teaching may be one of them.
An AI-powered robot friend in family life
“Need a joke when you’re down? A dance when you’re bored? Miko’s on it.”
A digital friend is a big promise, but it is possibly another role that AI can fill for lonely kids.
The company say that Miko learns as it goes along, like you kid, so they “grow up together.”
In practical terms though, the Miko3 robot can understand your kids’ questions and conversation. It can answer their questions about math, science, and history, and can also help with language learning. And of course, it can play games with bored kids, and play movies on its face! It can also help them with reminders like “it’s time to brush your teeth!”
Miko can also have a to-do list for the morning. Is it time to fire the nanny?
AI parenting: Emotional support AI for kids
This is an AI friend that helps kids work through their emotions. The Moxie AI was created by a company called Embodied, founded by Paolo Pirjanian, a robotics entrepreneur and former NASA scientist who has helped develop technologies for products such as the Sony AIBO and iRobot Roomba.
Pirjanian thinks that robotics can be used for good. “AI in the form of a robotic peer can offer a unique opportunity to develop critical life skills and emotional intelligence as they navigate the challenges of childhood together. An AI friend for kids won’t chart the stars or attempt to overthrow humanity, but it can change the world by helping to raise the next generation of empathetic and socially conscious adults.”
The makers of Moxie say that it has the “ability to learn and respond uniquely to input and interaction.”
Moxie is designed to equip kids with “personal coping strategies, mindfulness, emotional awareness, self-love, and introspection through conversation and play. Learning emotional intelligence as a child can be tough. Especially for kids who need a little extra support in understanding their own feelings as well as the feelings of others, a robot AI friend can provide a safe and intentional environment in which your child can explore the complexity of emotions and learn strategies to manage them.
Interestingly, the company says Moxie shows benefits for kids, including those who are neurodivergent. “Based on our small Moxie Pioneer Mentor Program study, neurodivergent and neurotypical children demonstrated equal improvement after engaging with the Moxie companion. This shows us that Moxie, and likely other robot AI friends, are effective at engaging and supporting children with learning disabilities.”
It is a brave new world out there in family life. Is it time to hand over kids’ free time to the AIs?