How ChatGPT Could Change the Toy Industry
In less than 4 months, OpenAI’s ChatGPT has created a stir among teachers, business owners and tech enthusiasts. In the simplest form, ChatGPT is a chatbot that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP) to understand customer questions and automate responses to them, simulating human conversation. Why the fuss? ChatGPT can produce a grammatically correct college application essay, a chapter for a book on puppies, and answer math problems. If history repeats itself, as technology changes so do the demands of parents for toys to fill in the holes in their child’s development. If ChatGPT can write a high school essay for a student, spit out a Valentine’s time day love message or calculate math equations into an excel spreadsheet, how much will children really have to learn in the future? Will they need the head start of educational and STEM toys?
I see the return of toys that were popular before it became mandatory for all toys to give a child a LEAP start on technology. Brands such as Leap Frog and V-Tech prospered by creating what I called in, “Marketing to Moms” (Random House, 2000) edutainment. STEM became a buzz word in the toy industry and until recently the point of entry for toy manufacturers. In fact, Gen X moms were the last group of parents that embraced the “just let my child play on the floor and have fun” mentality. Millennial parents were raised as children on Baby Einstein videos- which by the way were never meant to make babies smarter- regardless of the brand name. It’s a forgotten fact that Julie Aigner Clark, the mom creator of Baby Einstein, developed the line of videos to introduce children to classical music and art. However as adults, toddlers raised on Baby Einstein are intent on using play to educate and the toy industry has happily filled their needs. With ChatGPT, a moms need will be to help her child develop the answers and skills that artificial intelligence can’t give them- emotional intelligence, the ability to create original thoughts and how to navigate AI bots.
As ChatGPTand other artificial intelligence becomes more mainstream, here’s the types of toys that Moms will likely seek for their children.
- Toys that promote linking together original thoughts and independent creations. Moms will want to ensure their children don’t loose the ability to assemble original sentences and coherent paragraphs that are expressive of their own, authentic feelings.
- Increase in toys that develop emotional intelligence. Feelings and personal sensitivity will rise to the top again for moms. If her child can easily find the answer to algebra, she will want them to “feel” the struggle of working through a complex problem whether it involves decision making or numbers. Toys can help her present practice exercises in a fun learning manner.
- Toys that teach children how to manage artificial intelligence by navigating its capabilities and how to extract the answers they need. ChatGPT likely has the answer or can find it but often it’s how you ask the questions that determines the data you receive. Children will need to learn how to ask the right questions and how to re-ask them in new ways in order to fully utilize artificial intelligence. The need for this education will put parents back on the path of using toys to give their children a head start in navigating new technologies.
The winner in the toy space of the future will be those brands who can develop toys with a balance between emotional development, education, and fun in the real world and online.
BSM Media, Inc. is an award-winning and internationally recognized Marketing to Moms agency specializing in strategic outreach, influencer engagement, and content creation. BSM Media also owns and operates MomSelect Influencer Network, MillennialInfluencers.com, GenZInfluencers.com, and Mommyparties.com.
Maria Bailey is the CEO of BSM Media and the author of “Marketing to Moms: Getting Your Share of the Trillion Dollar Market,” “Power Moms,” “Millennial Moms: 202 Facts Marketers Need to Know to Build Brands and Drive Sales,” and the soon to be released “Marketing to Gen Z Moms.” She is a frequent keynote speaker and media expert. She can be reached at Maria@bsmmedia.com. Learn more about Maria Bailey at www.MariaBailey.com.