Baby monitors can be parents’ best friend when it comes to keeping a close eye on their babies. They allow parents to watch their child’s activity without them having to be 100% present, but just how closely do kids need to be monitored?
Well, according to Google’s latest patent, baby monitors can be even more effective with artificial intelligence (AI). The company filed a patent for AI technology that uses eye-tracking, audio cues, and a growing database of babies’ behaviors to predict when your child is going to wake up.
Parents won’t just get an alert when their child is already awake and moving around. They can get a warning up to 10 minutes in advance of when their baby is expected to wake up.
The patent filing stated, “While baby’s cry may alert his parents to the baby being in distress, sometimes a baby will not audibly indicate his distress. For example, if the baby is tossing in his sleep, is awake and moving around when the baby is expected to be asleep, or worse, is choking, tangled in bedding, or otherwise is in a dangerous position, the baby is in distress but may not be crying.”
While convenient, AI might fuel parents’ fear for their child’s privacy. Baby monitors faced controversy with past hacking stories: monitors listening in on audio or recording video. The addition of AI could potentially increase the possibility of improper data collection. After all, the Google baby monitor is tracking children’s behavior in order to predict future activity.
The patent doesn’t guarantee that the baby monitor will be out on shelves any time soon, or at all. A Google spokesperson told CNN that filing a patent does not directly imply a new product in production.
One has to wonder, though, just how good of a baby sitter AI could be and what that could mean in the future for parents.