AI AI Barbie

AI AI Barbie: hackathon

If toys start speaking back: what role do we want artificial intelligence (AI) to play in our families and the education of our children? During the AI AI Barbie hackathon and evening programme we will look with experts at the role of AI in the relationship between parents and children.


During the hackathon multidisciplinary teams will develop scenarios and 'provotypes' (provocations prototypes) for responsible AI in toys. We will work with the platform Scratch based on Cognimates and several types of hardware. The 'provotypes' developed during the hackathon will be used to come to new frameworks of responsible use of AI in toys during the evening programme.

Smart toys

Research by Stefania Druga (MIT) shows that smart toys can influence the moral choices of children better than people can. This motivated SETUP and Waag to look critically at the role of AI in the relationship between parents and children.

Together with Stefania Druga we explore how we can give humane direction to the role that AI will play in the education of children. The results will be presented during the AI AI Barbie event in the evening.

Participation to the hackathon is free. Limited number of places available. The hackathon is in English.

Hackathon programme

09:30 Doors open
10:00 Welcome and introduction of Waag, SETUP and Stefania Druga
11:00 Technical exploration
12:00 Open space for idea development
13:00 Lunch
13:30 Development of provotypes
18:00 Diner

About Stefania Druga

Stefania is born in Romania but lives and works in the US. She has worked at MIT, Google and is the founder of HacKIDemia in Germany. This collaboration is a result of her research "My Doll Says It’s OK: Voice-Enabled Toy Influences Children's Moral Decisions".

With her research, Stefania Druga has exposed an underexposed aspect in the conversation about smart toys. Because machines are attributed human qualities, they arouse empathy, with which children are influenced to revise their (moral) points of view. In addition, the platform Cognimates developed by Stefania Druga offers a way to get started with AI and to explore alternatives.

About the project AI AI Barbie

Waag and Medialab SETUP are collaborating in this project, supported by the SIDN Fund and Creative Industries Fund NL. The event is organized in collaboration with Stefania Druga. Her visit is made possible in part by Het Nieuwe Instituut with support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.