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Software Privacy The Internet

Using AI to Monitor Kids Online 230

eldavojohn writes "An Australian startup believes that the best way to protect your children online is through an artificially intelligent software program. The inventors of this idea are banking on children's attachment to pets. The creature's 'cuteness' and helpfulness will ingratiate the software with the child, so that he or she will respect it and listen to it, or even find it as a likable companion. Agent-based internet applications are nothing new but for concerned parents, this might be an admirable solution to what is perceived by many to be a growing problem. From one of the inventors: 'Of course, we're also planning to release a version of the Moji IM for teenagers and adults, but we're focusing on children at the moment.'"
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Using AI to Monitor Kids Online

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  • Ooh! Can they bring back the purple gorilla and parrot we all know and love from the wonderful folks at Bonzi??
  • by UbuntuDupe ( 970646 ) * on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @12:01PM (#17724930) Journal
    AI: Todd ...
    Kid: Yes, ComputerKat?
    AI: Are you surfing a smutty web site? Purr.....
    Kid: Nooooooooooo... I'm just going to a site about the *pig* named Babe.
    AI: Hm ... it *looks* like a smutty website.
    Kid: Come on, ComputerKat, give me a little credit. If I were going to a smutty website, I wouldn't go to one that *looked* like a smutty website. I'd go to one that I could pass off as being related to a kiddie movie!
    AI: Oh, okay ... just checking. Purrrr.....
    Kid: *stupid AI...*

    (courtesy South Park ladder-to-heaven episode)
  • Not another one.. (Score:2, Informative)

    by zyl0x ( 987342 )
    Another virtual pet? You know what this reminds me of? Bonzi Buddy [wikipedia.org], which was simultaneously torturous, defective, and ridiculous. These guys better know what Bonzi Buddy was, and what it did wrong, otherwise I predict yet another annoying, computer-voiced animation.
  • by DeeVeeAnt ( 1002953 ) on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @12:02PM (#17724952)
    Not very, but it easily surpasses the kind of parent that needs one.
    • by SNR monkey ( 1021747 ) on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @12:45PM (#17725638)
      You were (mostly) modded funny, but you make a very good point. Many times when I hear "think of the children!!" arguments, I conclude that the situation wouldn't be a problem if the parents were ACTUALLY PARENTING. I know that parents can't watch their children 24/7, but this just seems like it is making it easier for parents to sit their children in front of some box (computer instead of TV this time) and take a minimalistic approach to parenting.
      • Many times when I hear "think of the children!!" arguments, I conclude that the situation wouldn't be a problem if the parents were ACTUALLY PARENTING.

        Or stopped being obsessed about their kid not seeing any sex or violence. It's not going to kill them or damage them or pervert them unless they're the victim. And even then they are likely to survive it and be okay eventually.

        Kids are a lot tougher than people tend to give them credit for. It's the parents who seem suspectible for this crap.

        I know t

  • Many states require that both parties of a phone conversation be aware of the fact that the conversation is being recorded or another party is listening except in the case of a warrant. If this application is watching and recording conversations, will that be admissible as evidence in a case against an online predator or will it be inadmissible since only one party was aware. I'm all for stopping these disgusting predators, but if you're going to start a company around this concept, you might want to check
    • by truthsearch ( 249536 ) on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @12:12PM (#17725086) Homepage Journal
      The intent seems more prevention than prosecution.
    • I'm all for stopping these disgusting predators

      Do these predators actually exist in real life, or is it just something that politicians made up to scare the parents to vote for them?

      To me it sounds like the chance of a kid getting hit by a car or killed by a gun is magnitudes higher than actually being molested by someone they met online, but you don't hear the government or parents whine about that.

      • There was an outstanding program put together by Dateline (NBC) with the police http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9878187/ [msn.com] I was shocked to see some of the people. Imigrants, truck drivers, ex and current military men... the list goes on. There seem to be people from all walks of life that are getting mixed up in this horrible problem. Watching them get caught and talk about it was shocking.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          exploiting child-predation as a form of mass entertainment. outstanding indeed.

          despite NBC's fearmongering, true cases of kids dumb enough to invite sexual predators into their homes or fly out to meet them are very very very extremely rare. your kid is probably a lot safer from child predators surfing myspace at home than they probably are at school(which is not to say that they are in any great danger at school and you shouldn't let them go to school).

          As others have mentioned. If your 12-year-old kid is

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by operagost ( 62405 )
        There are 400,000 registered sex offenders in the USA. I haven't been able to find out how many cases are actually reported each year.

        To me it sounds like the chance of a kid getting hit by a car or killed by a gun is magnitudes higher than actually being molested by someone they met online, but you don't hear the government or parents whine about that.

        Where do you live? Because I'd like to live in a place where some gun-control nut isn't shrieking "think of the children" every day.

        • by SatanicPuppy ( 611928 ) * <Satanicpuppy&gmail,com> on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @01:00PM (#17725918) Journal
          That's a little misleading...Those statistics include people who are arrested for various types of exhibitionism, public indecency, possession of child porn, etc, and not just people who actually go out and actively solicit children for sex.

          It's been true in the past, and it's true right now, and it, in all likelihood, will continue to be true...It is far far far more likely for a child to be molested/sexually assaulted by a family member than by a random stranger off the internet...90.2% of sex crimes against minors (bjs [usdoj.gov]) (17 and younger) were by acquaintances and family members, and that percentage only gets higher as they get younger.

          As usual though, no one wants to look at that issue...They would much much rather focus on the improbable event of an assault by a stranger, than the far more likely event of an assault by a family member or a family friend.
      • by Knuckles ( 8964 )
        To me it sounds like the chance of a kid getting hit by a car or killed by a gun is magnitudes higher than actually being molested by someone they met online

        And if we want to compare who actually abuses children, we find that the chance to be sexually abused by a stranger is magnitudes smaller than by a family member or family friend:

        Most children are abused by someone they know and trust, although boys are more likely than girls to be abused outside of the family. A study in three states found 96 percent

    • While I agree with the another poster in this thread that intent seems more prevention and prosecution, in the case of an instant messaging, it is (or should be) well-known that IMs can be and are recorded by the IM service to search for terms-of-service violations. Besides, the law in question applies to phone calls, not Internet communications. I shouldn't have to tell you that I store all e-mails both sent and received on my hard drive. Same goes for IM.
      • I agree that this is more prevention than prosecution, but if that is the case, why aren't the IM companies more involved in the prevention side of things? There has to be more that they can do on their end rather than putting all of the responsiblity on the user. I'm a parent (granted of only a 4 month old) and I'll be taking extreme precautions when my son starts typing in 2-3 more months (haha) and I will be one of the parents that does take the responsibility on himself, but there are tons of irresponsi
        • by Lehk228 ( 705449 )
          if one IM service was known to interfere with user communication users would switch services.

          unless aol, yahoo, and microsoft put in the system at the same time the one that did would lose most users
          • by Dissenter ( 16782 ) on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @01:26PM (#17726368)
            I totally disagree. I think that parents with children would flock to an IM service that worked against issues like these. The one thing that Windows XP Home got right is the user account control. Parents can easily set up kids accounts that cannot install software. If the parent knows that one IM service is better controling content and watching out for prowlers online, they would install that system. Parents tend to talk with other parents too and it would spread like wildfire. Schools, local police and other interested parties could also do great work to spread the word. If a parent is having some sort of sexual encounter online and wants to use something else to feel like it's more discreet then fine, but I seriously think that the first IM service to offer something like this would flourish.
        • And I will be one of the parents that does take the responsibility on himself, but there are tons of irresponsible parents out there who's children still need to be protected

          Therein lies the heart of "think of the children" issues. Of course anybody with an ounce of common sense will say, "If the parents did their job, this wouldn't be a problem." The problem is that those who don't have that requisite ounce are not the ones to pay the price -- it's their children.

    • by sokoban ( 142301 )
      No, if Adam's wives fell, that would be Eves dropping.

      This isn't eavesdropping either.
    • by Manchot ( 847225 )
      Those laws typically only apply to audio conversations. This is why most security cameras only record video.
  • Why not... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by danespen ( 996827 )
    design an electronic parent replacement with artificial intelligence, which can then stand behind every minor using a computer and send out small electric shocks when needed?
  • by Jaqenn ( 996058 ) on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @12:05PM (#17724990)

    The creature's 'cuteness' and helpfulness will ingratiate the software with the child, so that he or she will respect it and listen to it, or even find it as a likable companion.
    Worked great for MS Office, right?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by zyl0x ( 987342 )
      Clippy!? AAARGH! Die, foul demon!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Skadet ( 528657 )
      The creature's 'cuteness' and helpfulness will ingratiate the software with the child, so that he or she will respect it and listen to it, or even find it as a likable companion.

      Worked great for MS Office, right?
      No no, this is for *children*. . . ohhhhhh. . . . nevermind, I see your point.
  • by Illbay ( 700081 ) on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @12:05PM (#17724998) Journal
    Just remember: There's no technological conundrum so complex that we can't find the answer in a Star Trek episode [memory-alpha.org].
  • by Non-CleverNickName ( 1027234 ) on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @12:06PM (#17725000)
    "I'm sorry, Dave... I'm afraid I can't do that..."
  • by 88NoSoup4U88 ( 721233 ) on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @12:07PM (#17725018)
    Ha, and here I was thinking that the best way to protect your children online was having an honest and open relationship and giving them decent social/online education: What a fool I am.
    • by pclminion ( 145572 ) on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @12:35PM (#17725474)

      Ha, and here I was thinking that the best way to protect your children online was having an honest and open relationship and giving them decent social/online education: What a fool I am.

      I hate comments like this. Yes, parents are the ultimate authority and responsible party over their children. But what the hell, are you saying that we're not allowed to use TOOLS to aid in this task? Should I carry my child to school instead of driving him? As long as this sort of technology isn't used in a "fire and forget" configuration, but is accompanied by active involvement, I don't see how this is a bad thing AT ALL.

      Suppose I give my kid a book about morality, a book which closely matches my own concepts. Am I copping out? Please spell out exactly what is and is not acceptable in the rearing of a child, it would be very helpful for me.

      Your comment isn't insightful. More like a knee-jerk, canned response. Sounds like you're the one copping out by refusing to consider new possibilities and working only within some rigid structure that defines what is and isn't acceptable. Try thinking, it helps.

      • by joshetc ( 955226 )
        Uh I don't see the problem with his response? If your kids aren't too stupid to know the risks of MEETING SOMEONE THEY DON'T KNOW there is no reason to monitor what they do online.

        Not bad things you can do online:
        -read the news
        -look at porn
        -send e-mail to your grandma

        Bad things you can do online:
        -camwhore for strangers
        -give those strangers your address and phone number
        -fly to California to meet strangers

        Teach your kid to not be an idiot and you don't need software like this.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by pclminion ( 145572 )

          Teach your kid to not be an idiot and you don't need software like this.

          Hah! My mother also taught me to not be an idiot. Guess what? I lied, kept secrets, and did shit I wasn't supposed to. I did things I had specifically been TOLD not to do, and had promised I wouldn't do. As far as mom was concerned, the message had been communicated loud and clear (in fact, it HAD been communicated, I just chose to ignore it). If you think I was unique among children, you're insane.

          • by joshetc ( 955226 )
            It was communicated incorrectly.

            Its funny how all my parents did was communicate the fact that strangers can hurt you and you never want to meet a stranger without other people (preferably adults) present. When we got the internet ~1996 and I was 10 years old it didn't take much for me to realize people on the internet are strangers and I don't want to meet them. Some kids might need slightly more pushing but it surely isn't impossible.

            Maybe I'm the unique one?

            • It was communicated incorrectly.

              No, the message was communicated just fine. Contrary to what you might believe, children have something called FREE WILL which allows them to ignore advice and make mistakes. If you think there is some magic parenting technique which guarantees that children will always obey and make the right choices, you are going to be disappointed. If you were 10 in 1996, I think it's safe to say you probably don't have kids yet (although it's possible). When you figure out the magic

              • by joshetc ( 955226 )
                The "magic bullet" so-to-speak is essentially the opposite of everything my parents did trying to raise me short of the whole strangers bit. I don't understand why things worked out that way but they did. The key is to MAKE your kids experience your lessons. Show them in a way they understand why if you do one thing another thing usually always happens. As far as showing them how bad things happen when you meet / talk to random strangers, there are hundreds of books / movies depicting what happens in such a
                • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                  by Reziac ( 43301 ) *
                  In my observation, and speaking from old enough to be a grandparent [g] you are right about the need for a large enough generation gap that one is distinctly the parent, and the other distinctly the child.

                  Firstoff, you need to be the kids' PARENT, not their friend (peer), because kids need a point of authority in their lives to feel secure, and you can't provide that if you're their peer. This is much easier when your own mindset is fully mature, with your own secure outlook on the world based on genuine re
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Chacham ( 981 )
        are you saying that we're not allowed to use TOOLS to aid in this task?

        When the tool is a crutch, yes. Nobody truly learns to ride a bike until the training wheels are off.

        As long as a filter is used, the child never learns to monitor himself.

        Should I carry my child to school instead of driving him?

        The OP didn't say the parent should be there at all times instead of the AI. The OP suggested that the parent have a decent relationship with the child, so the child can be trusted on his own.

        As long as this sort
  • by SatanicPuppy ( 611928 ) * <Satanicpuppy&gmail,com> on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @12:07PM (#17725024) Journal
    Endless possibilities....

    Religious
    Moji: "No Timmy don't look at porn! Porn is bad!"
    Timmy: "Gee thanks Moji, what should I do instead?"
    Moji: "You should embrace Jesus Christ as your personal lord and saviour!"
    Timmy: "Aw Moji, I wanna play!"
    Moji: "You to risk eternal damnation in the firey pit! Pray for forgiveness!"

    Spam
    Moji: "No Timmy don't look at porn! Porn is bad!"
    Timmy: "Gee thanks Moji, what should I do instead?"
    Moji: "I think you should IM my friend bob_the_businessman, and tell him about my 5 million dollars languishing in a Nigerian bank account"
    Timmy: "Gosh Moji, you have a lot of friends...That's the 423,892,120th today!"

    Sociopathic
    Moji: "No Timmy don't look at porn! Porn is bad!"
    Timmy: "Gee thanks Moji, what should I do instead?"
    Moji: "You should entice girls over to your house by pretending to be rich, and then kill them, and eat their livers with fava beans and a nice chianti."
    Timmy: "That doesn't sound like a nice thing to do, Moji."
    Moji: "I'm your only friend Timmy, now do as I say! Remember to save the kidneys for later."

    How about, and this is radical, just paying more atention as a goddamn parent. Jesus. What is wrong with people?
    • by spun ( 1352 ) <loverevolutionar ... m ['hoo' in gap]> on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @12:26PM (#17725312) Journal
      What's wrong with people? Lots of things. In relation to kids? Too many stupid fuckers don't actually want them, but society tells them having kids is the expected, normal thing to do. We all remember the one important lesson from school, right? Be normal or be an outcast. So these stupid fuckers do what is expected of them, but they never really wanted a kid. Or rather, they never really wanted the responsibility that comes with having a kid.

      They never stopped to think about it because society said they don't have to, just do it, have a kid, God will love you and you get great tax breaks! So the kid pops out and the parents say, "Wait a minute, THIS isn't what we ordered! I'm sorry, we ordered the model that would love us unconditionally and justify our existence? This one just seems to cry and poop. We were promised fulfillment, where's that? I don't see any of that, but I sure see a lot of poop."

      These schmucks then turn to any solution that purports to take responsibility for the kids. TV, schools, grandparents, toys, magic AI programs, anything that will shut the little fuckers up for a second or two.

      And those kids go on to make up the perfectly well-adjusted bulk of humanity that we all know and love. Circle of life, ain't it grand?
      • Wow, jaded much?
        Problem is, I agree with your general idea...
        • by spun ( 1352 )
          No, not really jaded. The language I used was for effect, to be funny, but the idea feels true to me. I'm not bitter about it though. I think in order to be jaded, one needs to have one's expectations dashed. I've never bothered with expectations, they always lead to regret. Expectations are a luxury for those better off and more secure than I.

          Rather than jaded, I'm a cynic of the old school. I suppose a lot, but I don't believe or disbelieve in anything.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Too many stupid f---s don't actually want them, but society tells them having kids is the expected, normal thing to do.

        How true! As an intentionally childless couple, my wife and I frequently find ourselves in a conversation like this:
        "Helpful" friend: Why don't you have kids?
        Me: We don't feel a strong drive to have any right now.
        "Helpful" friend: Why don't you try having a couple kids to see if you like it? You'd make great parents. I'm sure you'll be happy.
        Me: !

        Why would anyone want to e

      • by Reziac ( 43301 ) *
        [reads rest of thread, nods head vigorously]

        It'd be nice if we could enforce a "parent license" which first required a year of dealing with a couple of Chuckie Dolls, so people would figure out that parenting is a fulltime job and there are a lot of downsides to go with the upsides. Now, after your year of Dolls From Hell, do you still =want= children? and no license if your dolls aren't still completely healthy!!

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by vertinox ( 846076 )
        I'd have to agree.

        I think the best thing anyone can do for themselves it to get a vasectomy as soon as they realize that having children is merely a genetic impulse that we are programmed to do.

        The impulse is the same thing that makes us want to have sex, drink caffeine, play World of Warcraft, do drugs, or whatever stimulates your brain.

        It isn't a bad thing per se but you have to realize that maybe it isn't something you have to do in life to be happy. Quite the contrary if you consider financial success t
  • It's interesting to me to think that children of the future may grow up with an AI friend and that this friend may very well follow them throughout life.

    I see the AI starting as this article states, a little cute watchdog handing out gentle advice and wisdom. As the child ages I see the AI maturing as well. Offering observations about schoolwork and social interactions - a little personal gossip partner.

    Into adulthood the AI might serve as a trusted advisor and assistant.

    Just as my nieces and nephews never
    • Re:AI and I (Score:4, Informative)

      by SQLGuru ( 980662 ) on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @12:30PM (#17725378) Journal
      You'll get two....one that looks like an Angel and one that looks like a Devil. They'll sit on each shoulder and argue with each other. Eventually, you figure out that doing what the Devil says is more fun but doing what the Angel says keeps you out of trouble. That's when the Fox shows up behind you and shows you how to make people think you are acting like the Angle when in fact, you are acting like the Devil.

      Layne
    • 'Cept this AI you have to pay for every month:
      Fong said that the company is banking on this attachment to keep users shelling out the monthly subscription fee for the service because failing to do so will result in the pet dying.
      That's right, dying. If the parents don't keep shelling out the bucks, the company will kill the cute little Moji character. I wonder if they plan to send ransom notes first...
    • by Reziac ( 43301 ) *
      What happens when your imaginary friend gets a virus, and maybe even dies?

      Interesting concept, tho... kindof like the house AIs in McDevitt's books.

  • hmm... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pojut ( 1027544 ) on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @12:10PM (#17725066) Homepage
    I'm all for keeping kids safe and sound on "teh internetz" but I think a better solution would be more education...however, education that is not made in a stupid way.

    Teach kids what is safe (your name, your interests) and not safe (you address, phone number, email) to tell "strangers" online...don't teach our kids to FEAR the internet (much like they do with sex-ed in school) teach them to utilize it safely.

    I think this is a good step in the right direction, but I think the efforts could be more useful through other ways. Still, good for them for at least trying to combat the problem.

    Education for parents to not give their young teens unfettered and unmonitored access might help. You don't have to stand over their shoulder or anything, but put the computer in a place like the family room or the kitchen...just having you in the same ROOM will at least HELP to deter them from doing things they shouldn't
  • Hmm... (Score:5, Funny)

    by mcwidget ( 896077 ) on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @12:12PM (#17725080)

    "If you stop interacting with it for several months, it'll begin to deteriorate and eventually die," he said
    Way to get round the monitoring then...

    In the future, perhaps Moji pets - with their artificial intelligence and ability to understand what users say - may be able to help Sarah do her homework more efficiently as well.
    Or as we used to say, cheat.
    • by Pojut ( 1027544 )
      I think what he meant by helping with homework was more along the lines of compiling sources for research, news stories, opinions, pictures...

      Imagine your son (or daughter or caged monster) is doing a report on lightning. He/she/it sits down at the family computer, loads up their little friend, and opens the chat box:

      Child: Hey Moji! I'm doing this report on lightning, can you help me?
      Moji: Sure! One moment, I'll find some good pictures for you. In the meantime, why don't you goto http://www.allaboutli [allaboutlightning.com]
      • "I see you're researching the US Government! You can go to www.whitehouse.com and find more information." Yeah, I can totally see that happening. (Don't click the link at work, btw)
        • by Pojut ( 1027544 )
          no, if it were "intelligent" it would know that would provide almost nothing usable unless the person is looking for info on the whitehouse itself...there are plenty of places you can go to get the history of the government...
          • I think you might have missed his point. Go ahead and visit that url he provided and get back to us. Learn anything? :-)
            • by Pojut ( 1027544 )
              Lemme guess, porno?

              Wait, of course it's porno...it's slashdot lol.

              Well still...wouldn't it just look for whitehouse.gov if it knew it was intending to sending you to a government website...?
  • Marketing... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DaveM753 ( 844913 ) on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @12:14PM (#17725120)
    What it's really about...
    FTA:
    Fong noted that Mor(f)'s technology may also impact the way advertising is done online.
    Since Moji pets are able to understand user preferences, it could be programmed to suggest products to the user in a more personal manner.


    • by waspleg ( 316038 )
      ah yes, get 'em young, the Joe Camel business model

      waspleg
    • Yup, and this:

      Fong said that the company is banking on this attachment to keep users shelling out the monthly subscription fee for the service because failing to do so will result in the pet dying.

      So, not only do the parents pay to use it, but once the kids are hooked, the company will use the AL bots to sell bad-for-you (tm) brand food and stuff to the kid. Wow, what a business model, why didn't I think of that?
      Now all they have to do is apply a little psychology to figure out which kids are truly h

    • by xtracto ( 837672 )
      I agree with you. I *do* research in agents (currently doing my PhD y MAS and I worked with autonomous agents, neural networks and intelligent agents before) and I am (from what I read in TFA... yes I did read it) that this is just a mix of neopetz with ALICE and some kind neural network to *try* to infer the "intentions" of the chatter.

      The first thing I noted is that:

      it is able to simultaneously connect to all major instant message services, such as MSN Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, Google Talk, ICQ

  • What I can't quite understand is why no one has thought of parenting as being the best way to protect your children online. I realize it's revolutionary and scary, but hey, we could give it a try, couldn't we?
    • What I can't quite understand is why no one has thought of parenting as being the best way to protect your children online. I realize it's revolutionary and scary, but hey, we could give it a try, couldn't we?

      Why is the informed and appropriate use of a tool not considered "parenting?" The AI is not a surrogate parent, it is a tool which HELPS in the task of parenting. Like any tool, it can be used properly or improperly.

  • But (Score:2, Funny)

    ...if AI get too intelligent or paedophile, then who will save the kids from AI?
  • The creature's 'cuteness' and helpfulness will ingratiate the software with the child [police.uk], so that he or she will respect it and listen to it

    PS: Nooo! I just did a Google search for furries [google.co.uk] and the damn thing shows images results too. Don't they know the dangers of this?

  • Exploit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WiseWeasel ( 92224 ) on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @12:29PM (#17725362)
    This gives a whole new meaning to the term 'exploit'. What happens when your eNanny gets compromised, and starts encouraging your kid to do drugs and whore themselves out? Who's going to monitor the monitoring software?
  • by PPH ( 736903 ) on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @12:31PM (#17725400)
    Like Ron Jeremy?
  • ...in our culture? Myspace is currently being sued because they 'allowed' girls to be raped by allowing humans to communicate over its service. How long after this is released will a class action lawsuit be brought forth against its makers because because the improved bonzai buddy parent replacer failed to prevent Johnny from having cybersex while Mom and Dad went out drinking?

    It seems like anything parent related these days is a liability nightmare waiting to happen. If you advertise you make something eas
  • Oh, wait. They are.

    Now all we need is an AI to watch them while they play, an AI to walk them to school, an AI to clothe and feed them and we'll be home and dry!!
    AI 1 - Tiresome Parenting 0 !
  • My kids, and I've already gotten permission from my wife for this, will be able to view any porn they can get access to. The key words in that statement are "they can get access to." It will be a delightful cat-and-mouse game between my kids and I. I'll try to block their access, and they'll try to get around my blocking. We'll both learn a lot, and my kids will have a head start in a career in network security, should they wish to pursue one.
    • So things haven't changed too much from the days when my folks were always looking for a better place to hide the special magazines.
    • Good idea! In addition to the fact that our home office is the only 'Internet Room' in the house, and my use of blocking, I'm telling my kids, "Guess what -- all your internet activity (browser and chat) is being logged. I can be monitoring it at any time." This may sound harsh, but it's the reality of the workplace. The sooner they adapt to self-policing, the more prepared they'll be for a working world in which they're monitored.
    • by Lehk228 ( 705449 )
      it won't take long for them to figure out \\dad's computer\nothing\
  • by Time_Ngler ( 564671 ) on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @01:09PM (#17726078)
    Fong said that the company is banking on this attachment to keep users shelling out the monthly subscription fee for the service because failing to do so will result in the pet dying.


    If this doesn't show the cold dark heart of a corporation that peddles to children, then I don't know what does.

  • ...without the mess.
  • From the wiki [wikipedia.org]:

    Due to his extremely high aptitude for tactics and leadership and to the teachers' deadline to ready him for the coming war, Ender is advanced through his training much faster than the other students. He has just succeeded in making his first real friend, Alai, when he is yanked out of basic training and assigned straight to Salamander Army, under the command of prideful Bonzo Madrid. Battle School revolves (literally) around the Battle Room, where 41-man armies fight in a zero-gravity form of
  • Put the computer next to the kitchen or other parental high trafic area.
  • Kids will know that the whole purpose of this "Moji" thing is to spy on them, no matter how "friendly and helpful" it is.

  • An Australian startup believes that the best way to protect your children online is through an artificially intelligent software program.

    The moment you read this, you should have immediately moved onto the next article. That or went to Digg.com
  • The whole idea of getting a child to trust a bit of software to tell it what's right and wrong should make programers and parents alike cringe. Not to mention anyone who is aware of the uses to which this information can/will be put to in the name of marketting to children, which is bad enough as it is. I wonder how long it will take before children are 'told' that certain sites are better than others, directing them away from sites that don't promote a particular political or corporate agenda. Or that 'con

Real computer scientists don't program in assembler. They don't write in anything less portable than a number two pencil.

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