America Online has launched a new internet safety campaign for kids built around an automated instant-messaging "buddy" that dispenses advice in real time.

Kids can add "AOLSafetyBot" to their buddy lists of friends on AOL Instant Messenger. It's programmed to answer, within seconds, such questions as whether kids should agree to physical meetings with online acquaintances or reveal such personal information as their address and age.

Some experts wonder, however, whether a scripted program can always be an appropriate guide in a complicated online world, given varying age


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