Youth on tech: An increased appetite for voice technology

September 8, 2019
Matthew Hellon
Research Executive

This article was originally posted on Research World as part of a new series of monthly articles that share the insights from a global survey with over 2,000 youths aged 11-18 years old.

This series will explore:

How youths currently use technology, such as voice and social media. For example, did you know that 47% of youths have more than one social media account on at least one social media platform?

How youths think emerging technologies will impact their education, working life and healthcare.

But firstly, why should you listen to youths?

26% of the world’s 7.7 billion people are aged under 15 and in the US alone, there are over 73 million children aged under 18.

Yet in conversations about how the current pace of technology is changing the world, why are the youth of today – who will experience this change first hand as they begin their educational and working lives – so often ignored?

Those aged 11-18 years old today will be the technology acceptors and rejectors of tomorrow. They possess a unique view of technology that, until recently, has gone unheard. The opinions of Silicon Valley dominate the future technology conversation and whilst their views are important, they are not sufficient.

On the benefits of 5G “I think those benefits are only going to come from the kind of unencumbered thinking that the youth have, this disencumbrance that comes from not really knowing what is impossible” Mobile World Congress 2019, Simon Segars, ARM CEO


ARM (the world’s leading semiconductor IP company) have been calling for the inclusion of youth opinions in conversations about the technology of tomorrow. This call has been ongoing for over a year, since the launch of their Gen ARM2Z program. The program aims to bridge the gap between youths and technology leaders. This is bolstered by the Gen ARM2Z ambassadors – a select group of youths already creating amazing things with technology. These ambassadors include:

Reuben Paul is a cyber security expert and founder of CyberShaolin – a not-for-profit focussed on cybersecurity education and empowerment for kids

Samaira Mehta created a coding board game, CoderBunnyz, at the age of 7. Since, she has invented an AI board game called CoderMindz. She aims to help one billion kids, particularly girls, gain access to coding tools

Resume’s fit for industry veterans let alone a 13-year-old boy and 10-year-old girl.

But to truly understand youth views on technology, ARM wanted to speak to more than their 5Gen ARM2Z ambassadors. Furthermore, youth’s relationship with technology is complex and multiple disciplines are needed to unpack it. The complexity of this relationship meant expert advice from outside the market research world was vital to ensure research into youths and technology was as insightful as possible. So, in collaboration with world renowned cyber psychologist and Gen ARM2Z scientific advisor Dr Mary Aiken, ARM and Northstar Research designed a survey for over 2,000 youths globally.

But insightful research into this area isn’t enough. ARM wanted to ensure that youth’s opinions were heard – and maximise the impact insight could generate. This meant that the mainstream press – where lots of health and technology research gets placed – wouldn’t suffice. A stage was needed where youths’ opinions could be shared with technology leaders who could enact change.

The final stage for this research would therefore be Mobile World Congress 2019, in a presentation delivered by Simon Segars, ARM’s CEO. The event was attended by 7,900 CEOs, many of whom from the technology sector.

However, before getting on stage at Mobile World Congress, ARM had to understand what youths were saying – and we’ll start to share those insights next month, where we’ll focus on the complexities involved in conducting research with children whilst remaining relevant to a global technology company. Stay tuned.

This post was originally published on Research World

By Matthew Hellon, Junior Research Executive

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