Categories: News

AI is now within everyone’s reach, parents should teach these things to children

It has been almost a year since ChatGPT came into existence and the excitement about it has increased a lot. And there is also concern about what this could mean for education. Changes keep coming. At the beginning of the year, MyAI was embedded in the social media platform Snapchat. It’s a chatbot, powered by ChatGPT, that encourages teens to ask them anything – from suggestions for gifts to give to friends to questions about homework. Meanwhile, Microsoft is introducing “CoPilot” on its system, which is billed as an “everyday AI companion.” This follows the introduction of “Bing Chat”, an AI-enhanced assistant alongside the Bing search tool. Suddenly, generative artificial intelligence – which can create new content like text and images – has become accessible to everyone, including young people. We are researchers with a background in digital technology and are extremely excited about the potential of AI. However, there are risks as well as benefits. Here are three things parents can keep in mind when navigating AI technology with their kids.

AI is already there and will be there

Artificial intelligence itself is nothing new – chatbots and generative AI have been around since the 1960s. But the size of AI databases has expanded rapidly over the past year, with huge financial investments in these technologies, more innovative code, and increased accessibility and usability. Parents may naturally be hesitant about AI. Many schools have considered banning certain AI uses due to claims that it would lead to cheating and weaken the educational foundation. But, AI is not going away, and it is going to be used more widely in our lives. The sooner youth learn to use this technology, the more they will know how to use it wisely and productively. If you’re a parent, it’s important to learn about these technologies and try them yourself so you can help your child navigate the world with AI. Start by logging into a free generative AI tool, and experiment together by asking the bot a few questions and considering the answers.

be critical

Generative AI can do amazing things – like generate images or write stories – but it can’t explain what it’s writing. It ties text together in a way that makes sense but cannot explain the underlying meaning. Generative AI cannot evaluate the credibility of sources, nor can it always find authoritative information to support claims. Generative AI software is also trained on data from a specific time, so recent events may not be included. So children need to learn that although it looks similar to other writing, such as in a book or article, the text has been linked together by computer code. This means that every word, sentence and claim should be viewed with skepticism. You can use this as an opportunity to help your children develop critical thinking skills. Visit a free AI art generator with your school-age child and find something. Then ask your child questions like, “What kind of people are shown?” What kind of shortcomings? Do you see any stereotypes? Can you see any bias?”

Be wary of chatbots

Chatbots are computer programs designed to simulate dialogue as if they were another human being. For example, by 2022 there were more than 10 million Replica users. Replika is a chatbot that is presented as a companion that cares. It acts like a friend. In many chatbot applications like this one, there may be no moderation or human checking on inappropriate content. So be careful if your child is spending a long time with AI “friends”. If not taken care of, these types of applications can pique a child’s curiosity and potentially lead them into unethical and harmful situations such as overly personal interactions with a bot. Make it clear to your children that generative AI is a machine, not a human. It does not share your ideals, beliefs, culture or religion. It presents text and language based on models and algorithms. This is not something to debate about, learn from, or use to reinforce your values. Codes can also be manually edited to constrain certain viewpoints or stances on topics.

Photos, video and audio matter too

With all the focus on text, be sure to remind your kids that photos and videos are also part of the generic AI landscape. Children may be careful about what text they enter online but careless about uploading images. Once uploaded, their photos and facial images become available to AI, making it difficult to protect their identities. For example, ChatGPT now has image capabilities that you can include in your conversations with the chatbot. Discuss privacy with your child, and be sure to mention that any data uploaded to the internet can be stored, scanned, and processed by AI. AI can be a powerful learning and engagement tool, and developments in this area are extremely exciting. With open conversation and some observation, the possibilities for children to get great benefits from this technique are endless.


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