An animated computer cartoon character named Scimorph has just been unleashed in cyberspace by the British government, with the stated aim of helping teach “secondary school science”. Scimorph, which responds to interaction from users, is to be made available to children in the classroom and at home.
Aside from the obvious parallel with Clippy, the intensely annoying “Office Assistant” which once induced violent fantasies in the minds of millions of Microsoft Office users, Scimorph has a few shortcomings. For example, the webcam and microphone on the child’s computer must be switched on for the feature to work, and such basic security measures as browser popup blockers turned off.
Scimorph hasn’t been thought through particularly well, has it?