CNET News Video
High-tech toys raise privacy concernsTalking to your toys has always been a part of growing up, but what if they could have a real conversation with your child? CNET's Lexy Savvides reports on a new generation of connected toys available this holiday season and the privacy issues parents...
My full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts but you can call me Barbie. Is there anything else you want to ask.? Barbie has had a 21st century make over. In partnership with Mittel, San Francisco based toy talk created Hello Barbie, a doll that can have a conversation and remember details you tell it like a favorite color. I also like literature. Do you like Shakespeare, Barbie? [NOISE] Oh. Reading and writing? Cool. This high tech Barbie has a built in microphone, speaker and wi-fi chip. And that let's our servers understand what a child does tell a Barbie and also what to send down to the doll what Barbie should respond back with as well. When you press the belt buckle, the doll is listening and sending the audio to Toy Talk service. Recognizing speech, running through natural language processing and our artificial intelligence engine, choosing what Barbie should say back, and streaming it back to the device, can be in the order of 100 milliseconds. Hello Barbie is armed with thousands of scripted responses and won't answer inappropriate questions. Oh, I'm feeling a lot less nervous about it. If you're concerned about what data is collected ToyTalk says parents can always access and delete recorded conversations through the website. There are no people with headphones on listening to what children say. Our servers process audio automatically much like the way that Siri, search in google maps. Cortana and Alexa all work in a similar way. Other interactive toys have raised security concerns. The My Friend Cayla doll also converses with kids but doesn't require a password to connect to a smartphone. She can be hacked to say bad words or even play music. While Cayla has some conversation filters, the doll can access the web which may lead to answers potentially unsuitable for young kids. Wow, what an interesting question. Monica Samille Lewinsky is a former White House intern with whom United States President Bill Clinton admitted to having had what he called an inappropriate relationship. You can expect more toys that will interact, converse, and learn. The CogniToys' dinosaur adjusts to a childs personality by using the same artificial intelligence as IBM's Watson. Even Google may get into the game. The company filed a patent for an internet-connected-teddy bear that could react to voice command and help control other devices. Talking to your toys is no longer child's play. In San Francisco, Lexi Savvides, cnet.com for CBS news. Can't wait to see you later.