After it was initially announced, the device drew a number of criticisms, with numerous parties raising concerns over how it would impact data privacy for such a vulnerable user base. Story of Stuff Project and Commercial-Free Childhood had already filed a case in court urging the company not to release the gadget.
"Young children shouldn't be encouraged to form bonds and friendships with data-collecting devices", the letter said.
Less than a year after the toymaker Mattel launched a AI-powered baby monitor called Aristotle, the company announced that it will table its controversial plans for the product after a petition from privacy and children's health advocates gained traction. The device even drew the attention of the United States government, with Senator Edward J. Markey and Representative Joe Barton sending Mattel a letter last week asking the firm for more information on how data would be stored and retained by the Aristotle.
Concerns about the privacy shortcomings of Aristotle were first brought to light by industry experts.
Now Mattel has said that the production of new items is not included in the company's strategy.
The device has integrated technology into the "home assistant" and was equipped with a small surveillance camera for baby.
The device has also been programmed to help the children at each development stage in life. For older kids, the device it was created to be used used for homework help, music, games and foreign language lessons, among other features. This is an indication that the device has the capability of evolving with the needs of the child, adjusting in every case. Some of its notable features include soothing a crying baby and playing interactive games with the child.
The Mattel decision was preceded by a campaign against the use of artificial intelligence in the care of children - even short-lived. And the device would learn about the child along the way.
Privacy concerns relating to the device were first raised by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, who noted that the Aristotle collects and stores data about a child's activity and interactions with it and that it also connects to other apps and online retailers, which means that data may be shared with those partner corporations.