“The future of the algorithmic child: connected cots and talking teddies”
Aspen Institute España and Fundación Telefónica held the first session of the fourth edition of the Tech&Society Program on Tuesday May 26, 2020 with a debate by Dr. Victoria Nash, Deputy Director and Senior Policy Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute (OII), on The future of the algorithmic child: connected cots and talking teddies. María Zabala, journalist, writer and speaker focused on Media Literacy and Digital Citizenship, interviewed Ms. Nash.
The objective of the program is to establish a space to reflect on the impact of technological developments on human relationships, politics, education, the economy and medicine. Over the past two decades, debates about children and the Internet have largely focused on questions of online safety and appropriate content or conduct. But the rise of the Internet of Things has brought screenless ’smart’ devices into many areas of domestic life, changing the ways that we run our homes or interact with our families. At the same time, app-based services provide ever more specialised opportunities to track and measure even the most intimate aspects of our lives. In a context where many families now have access to smart toys, digital ‘baby-tech’ and ever-expanding arrays of digital parenting tools, this seminar asks what impact the data economy might be having on our fundamental expectations of childhood and parenting.
Complementary Reading: Who knows what about me? A Children´s Commissioner report into the collection and sharing of children´s data (Children´s Commissioner)
Dr. Victoria Nash is the Deputy Director and Senior Policy Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute (OII). In the latter role, she is responsible for leading the department’s engagement in digital policy matters. Her research interests draw on her background as a political theorist, focusing on normative questions of Internet governance and regulation, with a particular focus on policies relating to children and young people. Her most recent research project examined the concept of the ‘algorithmic child’ and the data risks posed to children by connected toys and the Internet of Things. She holds several digital policy advisory roles, including membership of the UK Government’s multi-stakeholder UKCCIS Evidence Group, OfCom’s Making Sense of Media Advisory Panel and the Advisory Board of COADEC. She is frequently called on to give expert evidence in UK and EU policy consultations on broader issues such as platform governance.
María Zabala is a journalist, writer and speaker focused on Media Literacy and Digital Citizenship. She works with families, schools, students, teachers and both public & private institutions, developing digital education initiatives such as workshops, conferences and ongoing education projects. She is editing collaborator for several websites, hosts the annual DigCitSummitES event and runs iWomanish, a platform in which she shares practical resources and reliable information for parents and educators, being family & technology her primary advocating cause. Her goal and commitment is to promote a safe, creative, positive and responsible use of technology.