Today’s children are “Generation AI”! All thanks to the extensive use of AI technology in their daily lives. AI systems are making decisions, and parents aren’t even aware of most of the happenings. That affects everything from the videos they watch online to their school curriculum and even the social assistance their families receive. According to Seth Bergeson, a fellow at the World Economic Forum who led the “AI for Children” project, this trend is becoming increasingly prominent. And AI has been a rage in the Technosphere since the launch of Chat GPT and GPT 4.
We all know that AI’s influence will only grow from here.
As Artificial Intelligence (AI) grows in popularity, its developers may require assistance implementing necessary safety measures before launching their products. There’s no need to fear an evil doll like the one depicted in M3GAN. AI presents relative risks to those associated with the internet. This article explores some of the potential hazards of AI for children and provides parents with suggestions on how to ensure their safety at home.
According to the UNICEF world economy forum, “UNICEF is having the authority given by the UN General Assembly to protect the rights of every child – and we know that in the not-too-distant future, AI will impact every child in many different ways. The World Economic Forum recognizes the relationship between AI, young people, companies, and governments as crucial to negotiating people’s well-being worldwide as we move into the AI age.”
The healthy development of children is vital to the future well-being of any society, and if society fails to do so, there’s a heavy price to pay. AI will have a substantial impact from their conception and birth to their access to services and educational opportunities. However, this reality also poses a significant threat if we neglect children’s needs and rights. Therefore, it is crucial to prioritize AI’s potential consequences on children and evaluate their requirements during this technology’s development. There are concerns that AI could be a double-edged sword, especially for kids. As per a report by UNICEF and the World Economic Forum, risks range from privacy and safety issues to psychological and behavioral effects. With this in mind, let’s look into some areas where ethical considerations are most needed to uphold and protect children’s rights in AI.
Why AI Can Be Dangerous Without Proper Precautions
The Danger: Passive User Data Collection
AI-powered toys and other devices can collect data on children’s behavior, preferences, and voices. Hackers can exploit this data for predatory purposes or by the manufacturing company for marketing research purposes, and parents may be unaware.
A new study by the University of Washington and Johns Hopkins revealed that robots trained in artificial intelligence display biased decision-making, often influenced by racist and sexist tendencies. Unsurprisingly, many other technological products, including search engines, social media, video games, and other widely used tech products, perpetuate harmful stereotypes due to their reliance on algorithms and large data sets.
Carefully review how AI devices collect and use data before purchasing (including any phone or household digital assistants your child can interact with). Consider researching and buying products with robust user privacy protocols.
The Danger: Kids Sharing Personal Information
Children may not understand the potential consequences of sharing personal information online or with an AI device. AI products may not always be transparent about storing or using that information.
Educating your child about the risks of sharing personal information online or with AI devices is essential. Suppose your child still needs to be capable of understanding or following this advice. In that case, it may be necessary to supervise their interactions with AI or wait until they are older before introducing these devices.
The Danger: Social Media Content Chosen by AI Algorithms
Social media AI algorithms, by default, engage users on platforms by showing them attention-getting content. Consequently, children may access inappropriate content or dangerous misinformation without their parent’s knowledge.
Before allowing your child to use social media, determine if they are ready. If so, use parental controls and other settings to control the content they see and the individuals they interact with online.
The Danger: Imbalanced Social Interactions
Parents should consider AI’s impact on children’s emotional and social development. If children spend too much time interacting with AI and not enough with humans, they may not develop essential social skills.
To protect young ones from AI dangers, parents and caregivers must stay involved in their children’s use of AI-powered products and have conversations with kids about the risks and benefits of AI. You can also advocate for stronger AI regulations and support educational programs that promote internet safety for children.
Teach Kids in schools.
Our schools must educate students about digital safety, health, citizenship, and leadership. According to the Net Positive program report, students who participated in counselling were 97% better prepared to face internet dangers.
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