What Parents Should Know About Artificial Intelligence

What Parents Should Know About Artificial Intelligence

The impact of artificial intelligence (AI) is indisputable. It’s reshaping the daily lives of people, including children, at a rapid pace. While AI holds promise in offering quick assistance, there’s much more to understand. As a parent, knowing the complexities of AI tools is crucial to your child’s education and safety.

With tools like ChatGPT becoming more popular among children, it’s essential to acknowledge how they can aid your child’s education and decision-making. Explore the uses of AI for young people and tips to ensure responsible use of this technology.

What Is AI?

AI refers to a computer’s ability to process requests and generate responses. It’s modeled after the human brain — it gathers information, sorts details and makes them immediately available to the user. The goal is to recognize patterns based on large amounts of data and make decisions like humans. However, it can’t relate to people’s life experiences.

This technology has been present since the mid-1950s. Today, AI-powered tools are quickly becoming a part of everyday life. Companies use AI in many different ways, from Spotify using AI to recommend music based on your listening habits, to customer service chatbots generating a response based on a database of information.

How Do Children and Teens Use AI?

AI can be more than a helping tool for children and teenagers, allowing them instant access to loads of information. Here are some common ways teens are using this technology:

Improve Writing

AI-powered technologies like Trinka and Grammarly can help detect spelling and grammar errors and make suggestions on improving writing. Many students use these tools when crafting essays and other school assignments.

In worse cases, some children might use platforms like ChatGPT to write essays for them.

Perform Research

According to the Pew Research Center, about one in five teenagers familiar with ChatGPT have used it for schoolwork. It can be misused by students who don’t want to do their work, but it can also be used as an aid in research.

Students can use AI like a search engine to gather research or summarize information into simpler terms. While this can help save time, it is not always reliable. It’s important to double check any information the program gives you to make sure it’s accurate.

Acquire and Enhance New Knowledge

AI tools can provide access to training and education from all over the world, supporting your child’s self-directed learning. It allows schools to create personalized educational programs for students based on learning history or weaknesses.

AI-powered apps can even help them learn a new language. Duolingo provides a gamified way for kids to acquire one of the 40 languages available.

This technology can also improve your child’s knowledge about a specific topic. Gizmo is a tool that allows kids to recall everything they learn in an interactive and fun manner — just paste the study notes the app will use to create a quiz.

Can Parents Trust AI?

Reliance on AI technologies can yield positive and negative outcomes. Its increasing usefulness can increase your teen’s productivity and inform their decision-making. These tools can help motivate kids to learn more, as it offers new ways to explore the world around them.

However, the proliferation of AI emphasizes privacy and safety issues. AI-powered platforms often collect personal data without people knowing it and follow your teen’s every move online, making them a target of relentless advertising campaigns. Like any technology, AI tools can also be used maliciously.

To trust a technology that’s slowly dominating the world, you need ways to ensure your child remains safe from the possible pitfalls of AI usage.

Strategies for Safe and Responsible Use of AI

AI has already infiltrated society and the online world. You may not realize it, but your children have likely already used AI tools or encountered AI-generated content online. Now is the time to sit down with your kids to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this technology.

1.    Teach How to Manage Online Privacy

Clearing browser history and managing cookies can help block websites from accessing online activity. Teach younger kids to avoid sharing personal details like full name, phone number, address and financial information without your knowledge.

2.    Explain Plagiarism

Help older kids understand the value of original work. AI tools like ChatGPT can easily prompt students to copy and paste AI-generated output on their homework to finish work faster. Explain how copying the ideas of others, including AI, without giving proper credit is wrong and might be illegal.

3.    Think Critically

The speed of AI tools might be incredible, but like people, they can make mistakes. Remind your child to double-check factual information and consider acquiring different perspectives from other sources before reaching conclusions.

4.    Expand Their Horizons

Encourage your child to use other resources to avoid overdependence on AI tools. Explain the value of research, journals, books and professional insights. Introduce educational AI tools that complement their learning, and consider blocking access to some platforms.

5.    Discuss The Dangers

AI tools will continue to be used in irresponsible ways. The results can include fake new articles, deep fake images of real people, edited text, videos or photos and more. Do some research on how to spot AI-generated content online, and show your children examples. Tell them to report any cases of bullying they see using AI, such as fake photos used to mock or harass them or their classmates.

Navigate the AI World Responsibly

Modern technologies like AI are opening up learning and development opportunities for students. However, it’s not without its downsides. Following these strategies can help ensure your child’s safety while interacting with AI.

Cora Gold - Editor in ChiefAuthor bio:  Cora Gold is the Editor-in-Chief of women’s lifestyle magazine, Revivalist. She strives to live a happy and healthy life with her family by her side.
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