This video shows that digital home assistants that are becoming must-have features in our houses might have an unexpected role in the development of children with language deficits.
Patrick Crispen, an assistant professor of clinical medical education at Keck School of Medicine of USC, Los Angeles, has posted on Reddit a clip which purportedly depicts his 19-month-old son saying his first and only word “Google” when their Google Home replicates animal sounds.
Crispen son is in speech/language therapy because of “significant receptive and expressive language deficits,” Crispen says in the Reddit and YouTube description.
“Put simply, he doesn’t speak. At all. Zero words,” he says.
“We’ve had a Google Home since last holiday season, and my son absolutely adores its animal sounds. So, you can imagine our pleasure and surprise when my son started doing this this weekend. That’s right: My son’s first (and currently only) word is ‘Google.'”
The video triggered a debate on Reddit, with people being cynical and saying the video is a PR stunt.
Crispen replied saying: “I don’t blame you for being cynical. But, as the goofy guy chomping on breadsticks in the back of the video, I can assure you this video and its story are completely true and uncompensated. I just thought people would enjoy the story as much as my wife and I did.”
Others called the video dystopian but the boy’s dad said the family is “thankful” for the positive steps he’s taken.
Some other Redditors shared similar stories of their children:
Mashable has reached out to Crispen for comment.