Artificial intelligence is a difficult concept for adults to fully understand, so it’s even harder to explain to children. Explaining this technology to kids is pretty uncharted territory, but it has to be done because kids are likely exposed to it every day.
Another layer of this is AI safety. Too many young children today have their own smartphones. This means they have access to chatbots such as his ChatGPT and other AI-generating software. It is important that children are briefed on internet safety before interacting with AI.
Here are some tips on how to tackle AI conversations with young children, starting with a basic explanation of how to keep children safe in the AI age.
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- Teaching kids about AI
- Providing AI case studies
- Keeping children safe while interacting with AI
1. Explain AI to kids
AI is complex and difficult to fully understand how it works. That makes it especially difficult to explain to young children what her AI technology is.
One approach is to start with the basics. Integrate.ai provides a child-friendly definition of AI on its website that can be used when describing technology. When we talk to kids about AI, we can describe it as a computer that works like the brain. Next, I will explain that computers can learn from given words, pictures, and numbers.
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2. Provision of AI case studies
After giving your child a (fairly) easy-to-understand definition of AI, give them some examples of AI in action to help them better understand the technology.
If your child has an Apple device, you probably know what the voice assistant Siri is and have interacted with it before. If she has Amazon Echo devices around the house, she’s likely heard and spoken to voice assistant Alexa. These voice assistants are great examples of the AI that children have had many interactions with in the past.
Video games are another popular example of AI that many children are familiar with. We can also talk about self-driving cars.
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Children are very curious and will probably ask many questions about AI. So just a few familiar examples can help give you a basic understanding of what AI is.
3. Keep kids safe while interacting with AI
The third and perhaps most important part of this conversation is keeping kids safe online. Online safety has always been a concern when it comes to children, but the advent of AI has made this concern even greater.
AI is dangerous. AI has caused many phishing scams, misinformation, data breaches, cyberbullying, and even Concerns about stalking are growing.
With all these issues involved, it’s important to protect vulnerable children from these potential dangers.
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of Snapchat chatbot, my AI This is now a chatbot embedded in every user’s app, making it a problem for children. Since its release, there have been examples of children using bots to get advice on serious subjects like relationships and mental health. Chatbots cannot be removed unless the user has a paid Snapchat subscription, leaving them in the hands of many children.
One way to keep your kids safe is with parental controls and password protection. Set up parental controls for apps you don’t want your kids to use, and password protect websites you don’t want them to access.
Another thing you can do is set screen time limits for your kids and monitor what they’re doing during that screen time. Kids use technology a lot these days, so keep screen time in mind and keep an eye on it.
Finally, talk with your kids about how to stay safe online. After all, they always have access to AI and other technologies, so it’s important to discuss technology dos and don’ts to keep them safe.