Alexa Will Soon Help Teach Kids to be PoliteMarie Donlon | April 26, 2018
Concerned that barking demands at Alexa without an accompanying "please" or "thank you" is sending the wrong message to children, small users will soon be encouraged to be polite in their exchanges with the device thanks to a new feature.
Coming on the heels of a recent report from the research group Childwise, researchers believe that children "commanding" Alexa to complete some task will inevitably lead to those children having aggressive exchanges with others later in life.
"This is a very positive development," said Childwise research director Simon Leggett.
"We had noticed that practically none of the children that we had talked to said they ever used the words 'please' or 'thank you' when talking to their devices."
"Younger children will enjoy having the added interactivity, but older children may be less likely to use it as they will be more aware it's a robot at the other end."
Available as part of a May 9 software update, the feature, called Magic Word, will acknowledge when children use the words "please" and "thank you."
For example, in response to a child asking, "What will the weather be today please?" Alexa will add to its response: "Thanks for asking so nicely."