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For Parents
Social Emotional Learning · Technology ·

AI Friend for Kids

Paolo Pirjanian Paolo is the founder and CEO of Embodied Moxie. A NASA scientist turned robotics entrepreneur who has helped create technologies for many products ranging from the Sony AIBO to the iRobot Roomba. Paolo believes that robotics can be used for good. He is committed to the Moxie mission not because it's easy but out of a shared boundless optimism that together, we will put a dent in the universe.
AI Friend for Kids

Artificial Intelligence is a concept that comes with myriad associations, both positive and not-so-positive, depending on who you ask. The idea of a synthetic neural network with the capacity to process information and learn represents the potential solution to all the world’s problems, for some, and for others, a precursor to a dystopian future straight out of a tech-averse science fiction novel. 


For your child, however, AI in the form of a robotic peer can offer a unique opportunity to develop critical life skills and emotional intelligence as they navigate the challenges of childhood together. An AI friend for kids won’t chart the stars or attempt to overthrow humanity, but it can change the world by helping to raise the next generation of empathetic and socially conscious adults.

What is an AI friend for kids?

An artificially intelligent companion for your child is typically based on a digital program which has the ability to learn and respond uniquely to input and interaction. 


AI friends can be pre-programmed to exhibit specific personality traits and response tendencies, but they are able to react and adapt based on the feedback your child gives them. Most AI friends for kids are designed to be perceived as children themselves to provide a supportive peer-learning experience. They can exist either in a computer program, or in a separate physical form. 

What is a robot friend for kids?

In this case, a robotic friend is a mechanical personality which exists in an embodied state. There exist a range of products on the market which may be classified as robotic companions for children.


The artificial dog Poo-Chi, a popular toy created in the early 2000s, is one example of an accessible robotic companion that kids could interact with in the physical realm. Poo-Chi is not however an example of AI: while the little silver pup could respond to commands, Poo-Chi could not learn and adapt when given new information. 

How is a robot friend different from an AI friend?

Robot friends and AI friends are not mutually exclusive, and robot friends can be programmed with artificial intelligence. 


The differences lie mainly in their separation. A robot friend who is programmed with a pre-determined and non-adaptive set of responses is probably not equipped with AI. And, an AI friend who exists only in the virtual realm and not in a “body” is not considered a robot. 


So when we talk about robot AI friends, we mean a physical companion with artificial intelligence and adaptive learning strategies. 

Is AI good for kids?

A purpose-built AI companion can be extremely supportive in your child’s social learning experience by helping them to develop critical interpersonal skills like empathy, kindness, and close-listening. Artificial intelligence is often more effective at teaching these abilities than quiz-based programs as your child can see how their behavior impacts their AI friend. AI also gives your child the opportunity to teach these skills to their friend, in addition to learning them, themself. 

Is Moxie a robot friend or an AI friend?

Moxie is both! Because Moxie exists in a physical form which your child can touch and make eye contact with, they are a robot. And, because Moxie is equipped with adaptive learning abilities and unique responses and facial expressions, they are also artificially intelligent. This means Moxie is a robot AI friend. 

Benefits of a robot AI friend for kids

Embodied AI companions, like Moxie, provide an elevated learning experience for children that is unmatched by virtual AI programs. Here’s what we know. 


  • A robot AI friend shares physical space with your child, which helps them to better understand important nuances in social communication such as gestures, eye contact, expression, and touch. 
  • The ability to engage with a robot AI friend, as opposed to a virtual AI companion, meant children learned more effectively in 78% of studies where the two strategies were tested side-by-side. 
  • A robot AI friend can equip your child with personal coping strategies, mindfulness, emotional awareness, self-love, and introspection through conversation and play.
  • Your child can also help to soothe and teach robot AI companions like Moxie, themself, and understand what it takes to be a good friend in the process. 

Does my child need an AI friend?

Learning emotional intelligence as a child can be tough. Especially for kids who need a little extra support in understanding their own feelings as well as the feelings of others, a robot AI friend can provide a safe and intentional environment in which your child can explore the complexity of emotions and learn strategies to manage them. 

How to know if your child would benefit from an AI friend

Some children in unique circumstances will gain huge benefit from having a companion like Moxie. Especially as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, children who need to isolate due to medical risk or other reasons may thrive in the company of a robot AI friend. 


If you think your child might need a friend, we can help you determine if a robot AI is the right choice. take the quiz to find out if Moxie can help. 

Are AI friends good for social learning?

Yes! Robot AI friends are made to help your child improve their social skills and develop a higher degree of emotional intelligence. Regular, long-term engagement with companions like Moxie can increase your child’s self awareness, understanding of how their behavior affects others, and ability to recognize and kindly respond to the emotions of those around them. They can also help your child to develop better communication skills, and adopt new language and vocabulary.


Children of different ages will also gain unique benefits from engaging a robot AI friend, wherever they are in their learning pathway. 

Are AI robot friends good for helping children that struggle to learn?

Based on our small Moxie Pioneer Mentor Program study, neurodivergent and neurotypical children demonstrated equal improvement after engaging with the Moxie companion. This shows us that Moxie, and likely other robot AI friends, are effective at engaging and supporting children with learning disabilities.


Developing emotional intelligence as a child is already complex, and kids who are less able to understand subtle social cues may take longer to internalize these lessons than their peers. An AI robot friend can help guide them through this process with intentional learning. 

Is Moxie the right AI friend for my child?

Moxie is a special friend designed to help your child to better understand themself, as well as those around them. If you think your child would benefit from having a companion like Moxie, you can schedule a demonstration here


Visit our website to read real testimonials, learn more about the science behind the product, and rent or buy Moxie for your child. 

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