You may not think so, but the next generation does. Kids aged 6-10 think Amazon Alexa and other in-home AI systems are smarter than them, but oddly enough, children under the age of five don’t believe so, according to Stefania Druga’s research at MIT. As marketers, why should you care? Well, Gen Alpha (those born after 2010) are vastly different than their millennial parents.  Here’s what else we learned last week during our webinar with reps from Wired, MIT, Anki, DreamWorksTV, and a critically acclaimed neuroscientist.

When it comes to robots, emotions > answers. 

Toy developers like Anki are focusing more on creating relationships between children and robots. They’re focusing less on the question and response dynamic like Alexa and instead putting money towards developing emotional capable robots. At the end of the day, children thrive off of emotional reactions – whether it’s from friends, family or robots.

Humans aren’t so complicated after all. 

As Mike Merzenich (yes, Ted Talk Mike Merzenich) so kindly pointed out, “Our brain is driven by wanting. Basically, it works for rewards. It’s a weakness… it’s not a human strength.” This is something marketers have known for a while, but it’s nice to know an award-winning neuroscientist thinks so too.

Branded content is only the start.

Brands will have to get more creative and subtle with their messaging… much like the brands who have partnered with Amazon Alexa to offer “skills.” (Brands are shelling out major coin to get Alexa to recommend their brand upon situation or question.) Don’t know what I’m talking about? Ask Alexa what to do with chicken and mayonnaise.

At the end of the day… we still don’t know. We’ve never dealt with an entire generation so deeply embedded and reliant on technology. What we can do is observe, strategize and plan. And that’s exactly what we’ve done with our report with Wired, Understanding Generation Alpha – check it out here.