For all intents and purposes, the term AI – artificial intelligence – refers to the process through which computers employ algorithms, which are essentially a set of rules, to make decisions, frequently without the need for direct participation from humans and at a very high rate. One of the reasons why it may sometimes be very harmful for children is because they work at a very high pace, which allows them to make a very large number of decisions in a very short amount of time. This is one of the reasons why it can sometimes be highly detrimental, especially in the following areas:
It is essential to implement AI in a responsible and ethical manner if we want to see technology realize its full potential to improve and revolutionize education. Artificial intelligence has the ability to improve learning outcomes and personalize education; yet, if it is not employed properly, it also has the potential to have detrimental consequences.
One of the primary fears is that AI could one day replace human instructors in the classroom or otherwise undermine the importance of their work. Students could see a decline in their capacity for original thought and critical analysis if artificial intelligence is utilized to supplant teachers or give pre-packaged teachings. In addition to this, it is possible for AI systems to perpetuate prejudices as well as damaging stereotypes, which can lead to a limited and one-dimensional vision of the world.
There is also the possibility that AI will encourage rote learning and memorization rather than in-depth comprehension and analytical thinking, which is another cause for concern. The lack of these skills, which are essential for achievement in the 21st century, may have a detrimental impact on the growth of the kids over the long run.
As a consequence, artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to make education better; however, it is essential to make use of it in a responsible and ethical manner that supports the growth and learning of students.
AI-powered technology is often employed in the creation of realistic and violent video games. Unfortunately, this is becoming increasingly common. These games are then marketed to the general public as the latest and coolest invention that they should seriously consider purchasing. In this approach, it has the potential to desensitize and expose children to violent content. As a result, children growing up now say farewell to themselves, the well-mannered grownups of the future.
In addition, technologies that are powered by AI may be utilized to build convincing online predators, who would readily discover an exciting and productive environment in which they could easily groom and exploit minors.
The vast majority of currently accessible AI systems are incomplete. All are under development stage. Even the models that are now being used are not finished and are undergoing continuous development and improvement.
Take the scenario of a recommender system, in which a young child is engaged in some activity within a mobile app that features a recommender system. What takes place in the event that the recommendation given is accurate but does not correspond to the child’s age? The youngster will have the opportunity to participate in activities that would not ordinarily be advised for him or her as a result of this.
The use of chatbots and virtual assistants powered by AI can provide children with an opportunity to engage in activities that are both entertaining and educational; however, it is essential to take precautions to prevent the children from coming into contact with material that could be harmful or inappropriate. Also, it is essential to evaluate the potential effects that adopting AI may have on users’ privacy and to make certain that the personal information of minors is being handled in a suitable manner. And this principle can be applied to a wide variety of other contexts as well.
It is horrible enough that adults are being fed erroneous information that is racist and sexist by their electronics. Yet, from a psychological and legal point of view, I worry, a great deal, about the information that is being given to children. This includes very young children, who are also subjected to — and influenced by — inaccurate information about race that is transmitted via technology.
Along with parents, teachers and librarians have historically been the trusted custodians of our children’s learning. They are responsible for contextualizing difficult concepts, fostering curiosity, encouraging critical thinking, teaching research skills, pointing out nuance, and incubating empathy through the use of stories. This is the reason why we have put our faith in them and given them some responsibility for the education of our children.
Now, while these gatekeepers are having their voices muted and controlled, they are concurrently being replaced by machines that are motivated by profit.
If you were to ask Alexa who African-American girls are, it would undoubtedly tell you that they are black girls in response to your question. It’s possible that you won’t be ready for this kind of answer, and it’s definitely not something you expect. And in response to the second question, which was about African-American males, the answer described them as readers and learners presenting lots of difficulty. Alexa just told me that African American children are either evil or have difficulty learning, and it provided a plethora of facts to back up its claims, lending validity to her statements.
These responses are upsetting on a fundamentally intimate level for a child of African descent. They could either sow the seeds of bad stereotypes that feed racism in the minds of other children or continue to reinforce such beliefs. These comments would be bad enough if they came from a piece of technology designed for grownups. But it is even more deplorable when it is directed specifically towards children by a business that claims it can assist with schoolwork.
And it is not a stretch to believe that today’s youth are looking to technology for information on a variety of difficult subjects such as race, gender, sexuality, religion, and more. To make a bad situation even worse, there is a chance, if not a good chance, that a child would be by themselves when asking questions to Alexa that are comparable to the queries that I asked. It’s possible that the caregivers will never learn of the exchange. Although while Amazon allows parents post-conversation access to their children’s interactions with Alexa, it’s unlikely that many parents will actually take use of this feature because they simply don’t have the time to monitor their children’s talks.
What’s more concerning is the fact that digital assistants are often regarded as the industry standard for the future of information technology. But, producing income is the major purpose of goods such as digital assistants, social media, and search engines; the well-being of children is not one of their top priorities.
It is concerning that children are able to obtain a wide variety of information, including misinformation, from the content that is delivered to their devices, which is currently subject to very little government regulation. This is because states have placed severe restrictions on the types of information that can be made available to children at school and in libraries. Naturally, there is going to be some level of prejudice in the information that adults like parents, teachers, and librarians give to youngsters. They might not be able to give children the answers to all of their difficult questions, but unlike tech companies whose algorithms are proprietary, they can at least be held accountable. Additionally, they can point children in the direction of resources that contain more accurate information and engage them in the kind of nuanced conversation that is essential to living in a democracy.