Toy maker Mattel is pulling the plug on Aristotle, a connected kids room AI platform, and will not move forward on the project.
The Aristotle device could switch on a night light to soothe a crying baby and could keep changing its activities as the child grew, learning about the child along the way.
The voice-activated, AI-driven platform was "designed 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," according to a release by Mattel when Aristotle was introduced in January.
But as of this week, the company said that it will not move forward with plans to sell the smart hub after new executives decided it did not "fully align with Mattel's new technology strategy," according to a company statement. Children's health and privacy advocates had petitioned the company not to release the device. They said it gave the company an unprecedented look into the personal lives of children, and a petition asking Mattel not to release Aristotle, which was set to hit stores next year, garnered 15,000 signatures.
In its statement, Mattel said that it had decided internally to not market the product after the new chief technology officer, Sven Gerjets, joined the company in July. Gerjets, Mattel stated, reviewed the product and decided "not to bring Aristotle to the marketplace as part of an ongoing effort to deliver the best possible connected product experience to the consumer."
Said Josh Golin, executive director for the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, the organizing non-profit for the petition: “We commend Mattel for putting children’s well-being first and listening to the concerns of child development experts and thousands of parents who urged them not to release this device. This is a tremendous victory for everyone who believes children still have a right to privacy and that robots can never replace loving humans as caregivers.”