Aristotle: Cortana, from your smartphone to a surrogate parent

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Cortana, as used in Windows Phone and Windows 10, is making its way to connected AI in your kids' bedrooms and toyrooms, it seems, thanks to the latest home assistant, powered (partly) by Microsoft AI and aimed unashamedly at children, with the aim that the technology can help 'to protect, develop, and nurture' your children. Something straight out of Spielberg's AI? Maybe, this could actually be huge - and after all, Cortana is the chattiest of the current crop of industry assistants, so it's a good fit for this use case.

Aristotle, powered by Cortana?

From the Mattel press release, unveiling 'Aristotle' at CES 2017:

Revolutionary Voice Activated IoT Solution, Featuring Groundbreaking AI and Top-Notch Security, Will Help Nurture and Enrich Kids as They Grow While Assisting Families with Their Ever-Changing Needs

Available at Retail This Summer For $299

EL SEGUNDO, Calif.Jan. 4, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Mattel's nabi® brand, known for creating innovative high tech solutions for kids and families including the acclaimed nabi tablet line, will be unveiling its latest ground-breaking innovation at CES: Aristotle™-a first-of-its kind connected kids room platform developed together with technology heavyweights including Microsoft, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., and Silk Labs. Unlike other voice activated, AI-driven connected home platforms, Aristotle is designed with a specific purpose and mission: to aid parents and use the most advanced AI-driven technology to make it easier for them to protect, develop, and nurture the most important asset in their home-their children.   Mattel will debut the Aristotle voice activated kids connected room hub and camera bundle at retail this summer.

Aristotle is designed to comfort, entertain, teach, and assist during each development state-evolving with a child as their needs change from infancy to adolescence.  In building Aristotle, Mattel's nabi brand focused on solving parents' biggest concerns when it comes to IoT: security, privacy, and intuitive ease of use. To that end, Aristotle has been designed with security top of mind, with special attention to COPPA compliance measures and how data is collected, transferred, and stored.  Meanwhile, the platform's Artificial Intelligence will utilize three distinct AI engines, including Microsoft Cognitive Services and the Silk Intelligence Platform.  These multi-levels of AI enable Aristotle to learn patterns and autonomously act upon user habits to aid in child development and learning.  Aristotle's AI will also have a unique personality that will appeal to parents and kids and will be presented as the great descendent of Aristotle himself.

The Aristotle platform solves one of the biggest issues facing IoT today.  Current IoT platforms activate a series of disaggregated devices that must be purchased separately, set up individually and may or may not be compatible with one another.  Aristotle incorporates AI, voice, sight and sounds into its hub and camera, providing an all-in-one solution that simply works together. Therefore, the core system is much more than a stylish Bluetooth®/Wi-Fi® Direct speaker with a powerful, voice activated AI.  With its dynamic built-in LED multiple color lighting system and companion Wi-Fi camera, Aristotle delivers more enhanced AI capabilities that enable it to do more specialized functions autonomously, including helping sooth a crying baby, purchase diapers or find online deals, reinforce good manners in kids, and even help kids learn a foreign language. 

Clearly the software inside this all-in-one parent's aid is still being finalised. Sam George, Director, Microsoft Azure IoT at Microsoft Corp. said, "Mattel chose Microsoft as an enterprise grade technology partner to help empower their digital transformation.  The technologies that Mattel is leveraging, from Azure IoT Suite, to the Cortana Intelligence Suite to cutting edge Cognitive Services, are enabling a business revolution across industries."

So it'll be powered by Cortana but not exactly Cortana as we know it on Windows phones today. And, after all, you wouldn't want your nine year old saying "Hey Cortana, book me on a flight to Disneyland" would you?

Source / Credit: NewsOn6