Look at this little dinosaur toy. Is he cute? Yes. Fun? Definitely. The possible harbinger of humanity's demise? Possibly. That's because CogniToys aren't not normal toys. Green Dino here is powered by IBM's Watson supercomputer, which lets it learn and adapt to your child over time, kind of like a self-aware Furby.
And then maybe, a few years down the line, lets it calmly convince your child to help crush the anti-Skynet resistance.
Created by Elemental Path and revealed at this weekend's NYC Toy Fair, CongiToys Green Dino puts 21st century computing into kids' hands. As this toy's thrown together portmanteau name suggests, Green Dinos are intended to be somewhat cognitive. As the Elemental Path team explains:
"Eventually the toy will continue to develop the capacity to reason about the child's life."
In CogniToys' Kickstarter video, playtime looks like little more than a kid-friendly chat session with Siri. The dinosaur, which kind of sounds like Cookie Monster but in your nightmares, can tell your kids jokes, asks questions and will actually know if they get the question right. Like a lot of toys nowadays, CogniToys connect to the internet and parents can control what web content the toy has access to.
Of course, anything you connect to the internet—specifically one of the most advanced natural language AIs out there, developed by the company from with 2001's HAL got its name—invites a whole host of dangers and possibilities. If I was six all over again, this dinosaur would no doubt blow my mind, even if it is also a little creepy. Anyone who's taking significant strides to create Teddy from A.I. is all right in my book. [Kickstarter via Engadget]