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This company uses AI to alert parents when kids get dangerous texts

Around 3 in 4 parents of children ages 5 to 11 use parental controls to restrict how much their child uses screens. Now they can do more.
This company uses AI to alert parents when kids get dangerous texts
Posted at 8:25 PM, Jan 11, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-12 12:14:18-05

Parental controls are available for more devices nowadays, but Pervasive Group, Inc. is using artificial intelligence to take it one step further.

They started about 10 years ago when they launched an app that could be downloaded to children’s phones to help parents have control over what their kids could see and do on their devices.

Now, they have developed a way that the technology is built into the phone itself so kids can’t get around it.

“We decided to launch the solution, which is a phone with our app built into it,” said Coley Pritchett, the director of marketing for Pervasive Group, Inc. The company created the MMGuardian technology.

“It’s designed for children of any age,” Pritchett said.

“Basically anything a parent would want to be able to do, they can do. They want to filter the web, they want to lock their kids' phone either on demand or overnight,” he explained. “It can also monitor messages, so that’s text messages and also popular social media apps like Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, all the popular ones.”

SEE MORE: What is artificial intelligence? An explanation of the tech buzzword

The technology also uses artificial intelligence that was developed in house by the company.

“It comes with AI-powered safety alerts. So our AI will scan these messages and if it detects anything concerning related to cyberbullying, drugs, threats of violence, sexual predators, inappropriate pictures, parents will get an alert about that on their phone and they can view the alert and the message right away,” Pritchett said.

Over time the company was able to create algorithms and train the AI to detect these things, including slang and emojis. Parents who used the app could send feedback on whether alerts should be generated for certain messages. This all helped train the AI.

About 75% of parents of children 5 to 11 said they check the websites their child visits or the mobile apps they use, according to the Pew Research Center. About 72% of the same group use parental controls to restrict how much their child uses screens.

Phones with the MMGuardian technology installed can be purchased from the company’s website.

“It is subscription-based so it is a monthly subscription of $9.99 for the parental controls,” he said.

Those who choose annual subscriptions can get a discount when purchasing the phone.

@scrippsnews As a parent, would you trust artificial intelligence to monitor your child's texts for anything dangerous? This company has built AI into their parental controls so parents receive an alert when their child is texted about drugs, cyberbullying, or other concerns. #CES2024 #artificialintelligence ♬ original sound - Scripps News


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