Technology is helping children to be polite. Amazon has a new children's version of its virtual assistant Alexa. It is called "FreeTime". The child-friendly device will include a "Magic Word" feature. Actually, there are two magic words: "Please," and: "Thank you." The software is programmed to encourage children to say these two words when they ask the device questions. If a child asks FreeTime: "What is the capital city of Australia?" Alexa will answer and end its response with: "Thank you for asking so nicely." Amazon hopes children will copy the device and be more polite.
The Magic Word feature is for people who think technology teaches children to be rude. Many smart devices say sentences without using any polite words. Parents say children copy this and forget to say "please" or "thank you". Children also ask smart devices questions without being polite. Not everyone is happy with this new technology. The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood said: "AI devices [get in the way of] face-to-face interactions and child-driven play that children need to grow." It said parents should spend time with children and teach them politeness.