Digital Toy Company Cryptoys Integrating Kid-Friendly AI Chatbot Into NFTs

The company’s ChatGuardian is designed to be as “safe as possible” and will allow kids to play and interact with their Cryptoys NFT, while allowing parents to filter and control the conversations.

AccessTimeIconJul 12, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Jul 12, 2023 at 5:26 p.m. UTC

OnChain Studios, the Web3 collective behind non-fungible token (NFT) company Cryptoys is planning to integrate a kid-friendly artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot into its character-based digital collectibles.

The AI software, called ChatGuardian, features a chat filter that parents can customize to ensure that their kids have safe, appropriate conversations with their NFT characters. Parents will be able to log into Cryptoys’ Guardian Control Center and prohibit specific keywords and topics at their discretion.

Cryptoys hopes that incorporating ChatGuardian will make kids’ experiences with their NFTs engaging and entertaining as they talk with their digital toys. However, the company recognizes the uncertainties and worries that the introduction of AI presents - but don’t fear, there’s no chance of a M3GAN-like doll-gone-wrong here.

Will Weinraub, CEO and co-founder of OnChain Studio and Cryptoys told CoinDesk that kids born in the age of blockchain and AI should be able to interact with their favorite characters from intellectual property (IP) franchises, as opposed to “faceless robotic companions,” such as Google Home.

“You get the same kind of AI functionality that [kids] are so used to, and it's so natural for them these days – but with their favorite characters,” said Weinraub. “That's a big focus with this, and doing it in a safe way, which is why ChatGuardian was built.”

As AI grows to become smarter and more advanced, so will ChatGuardian. Alfonso Martinez, Chief Experience Officer at Cryptoys said in a press release that the company’s priority is to maintain its safety standards and provide the technology to put parents’ minds at ease.

"We have faith in the future of AI and its amazing abilities to bring to life some of our favorite characters and have our children play with them in a way they’ve never done before – but none of that matters if it’s not on a platform that is as safe as possible,” said Martinez. “And that is what we are working towards achieving.”

ChatGuardian, which OnChain Studios has been developing for the past two years, will first be integrated into Cryptoys’ Zoo-F-O collection, its native series of animal-themed digital collectibles featuring big-eyed kitties, dogs and pandas. While it's first being rolled out to current Cryptoys collectors, it will add additional kid-safe verifications in its second release.

After raising $23 million in funding from crypto investment firm a16z, NFT company Dapper Labs and toy manufacturing giant Mattel in June 2022, Cryptoys has been dedicated to building out its products and partnerships ahead of its dive into AI. In November, it teamed up with Mattel to release a series of digital action figures inspired by the Masters of the Universe film. In May, Cryptoys partnered with Disney to release its Star Wars themed series of NFTs, featuring characters from the iconic film franchise.

Edited by Toby Leah Bochan.


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Cam Thompson

Cam Thompson was a news reporter at CoinDesk.