Move, Tamagotchi toy. Tamagotchi kids are the future.
In the next 50 years, parents will have the choice to have digital children, according to a new book from one of the UK’s leading authorities on artificial intelligence. Catriona Campbell, the author of AI by Design: A Blueprint for Life with Artificial IntelligenceHe’s dubbed them the “Tamagotchi Generation,” after the digital animal toys from Japan that were all the rage in the 1990s and early 2000s.
What are Tamagotchis?
They are electronic pets created by Japanese toy manufacturer Bandai and the task is to keep them alive. As of March 2021, Bandai has sold more than 83 million Tamagotchi units.
Once the video game is activated, an egg will appear on the screen and hatch into a pet for the player to raise. It needs to be fed and cared for when sick. The pet goes through the normal life cycle – baby, child, teenager and adult.
The pets can “die” due to old age and illness.
What are digital sprouts?
According to Campbell, technology will likely advance to the point where parents will have the ability to have virtual babies that will exist in the metaverse. They can be accessed using virtual reality technology like a headset to make the user feel as if they are face to face with the child.
In conversation with Guardian, the British AI expert said that digital children will not be an anomaly. “As the metaverse continues to evolve, I can see virtual children becoming an accepted and fully accepted part of society in much of the developed world,” she said.
What will these children look like?
Digital children can be built to look like their parents. “…you will be able to play and cuddle with them. They’ll be able to simulate emotional responses as well as language ranging from ‘Googoo Gaga’ to backchat as they get older,” Campbell said Guardian.
Parents can interact with their virtual children in virtual parks, swimming pools or living rooms. They can choose how fast the children grow up, or they can choose to let the babies be babies.
And if you have the kids on the monthly subscription, you can cancel it, according to the report.
What are the advantages of digital children?
For starters, it can control overpopulation. Also, raising children is a costly affair. Not so much with virtual babies. You can have them as long as you can afford the subscription or until you don’t get bored.
“Think of the benefits: minimal cost and environmental impact. And less worry — although you might want a little bit of that programmed in for a more authentic parenting experience,” Campbell said in the interview.
Virtual children will use far fewer resources than human babies and they will have little impact on the environment.
“Make no mistake that this development, if it does happen, is a technological game changer that, if managed properly, could help us solve some of today’s most pressing problems, including overpopulation,” Campbell said Email online.
What are the disadvantages?
It’s not flesh and blood. It’s more like the far more advanced version of the Tamagotchi pet. And it probably isn’t for someone looking for an authentic parenting experience.
Have there been any experiments in the past?
Yes, this is not a completely new idea.
“BabyX” is an experiment by New Zealand company Soul Machines that aims to humanize AI. The “brain” of the virtual child consists of algorithms that infer good and evil. This allows BabyX to learn to respond to interactions like a real child. According to a report in Analytics insight.
With contributions from agencies
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