Mattel Brings Conversational UI To Barbie Dolls

Interactive toys are nothing new on the market, but how about a Barbie doll that can actually hold a conversation with your kids?

What Happened

Earlier this week, toy manufacturer Mattel Inc. debuted a new line of Barbie named “Hello Barbie” with speech-recognition and basic conversation skills. Connected to Wi-Fi, the new Barbie uses ToyTalk’s patent technology to analyze speech and produce relevant responses. Moreover, for monitoring purposes, parents can use an accompanying mobile app to listen to or delete the conversations.

What Brands Should Do

Technologies in speech recognition and artificial intelligence are still far from perfect. As they continue to improve, conversational UI may one day replace keyboards and touch screens as our primary means of communicating with electronic gadgets. Instead of forcing humans to adapt to methods of communicating that are easy for computers to understand, we are finally building computers that can understand the way humans have evolved to communicate. The sooner brands are on board with this trend by testing which ways it works best, the better.

Manager of Strategy & Content, IPG Media Lab

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