How is artificial intelligence affecting kids? We often see the effects of AI through the eyes of working-age adults. And as a result, adult-focused subjects like employment disruption, workplace development, and industrial breakthroughs dominate AI debate.
This overly limited approach ignores a sizable segment of the AI population: children. Despite our preoccupation with AI, we seldom pause to consider how technology will impact the next generation. But it doesn’t mean they aren’t still in need of defense.
A special approach and set of moral principles are needed when it comes to AI for kids. But what threats specifically does AI pose to children, and whose rights require the most protection?
AI is becoming more prevalent in children’s lives. And yet, they are rarely, if ever, acknowledged in most AI laws.
The basic fact is that AI has already had an influence on children. Children can already ask questions of Alexa or Google Assistant that their parents won’t answer. Already, AI-powered algorithms can pick what video a youngster should watch next or whether they are in danger. AI is probably going to have increasing influence over people’s access to healthcare and educational opportunities as time goes on.
The individuals in charge of the interaction between the AI and the kid are aware of these concerns. For instance, parents must act fast to prevent a misunderstood smart speaker from replying with offensive information. It is up to policymakers to safeguard children’s data. (Even to the point of banning AI toys in Germany.)
The idea of protecting children from AI is crucial. Children and adults are not the same, nor are they alike. They still have a long way to go and are still in the process of evolving. Therefore, how kids connect with the outside world will have an impact on their development and future.
What rights must thus be taken into account and safeguarded when it comes to AI for kids?
- Right to privacy, which includes safeguarding children’s personal information
Each time a young person engages with a digital service, their data profile is expanded. Furthermore, AI algorithms really base their conclusions on these data profiles. Then, how can we assure that children’s data, which is gathered by AI businesses and used to train AI, is protected and kept private?
- Protection against exploitation, abuse, and prejudice
We must make sure the system is impartial if AI for kids is to have a role in choices that affect their life. Age, sexual, and racial prejudice may all be brought on by algorithmic bias. Without the proper protections, this can result in unjust systems having an influence on children.
- Access to healthcare, education, and information
How could AI protect these rights? Could children have the best opportunities if AI for kids entails making decisions that have an impact on these fundamental needs?
- Ability to voice opinions on any topic that concerns them (including AI)
Children need to be informed about AI and how it will impact them. It’s crucial to impart knowledge about the systems that will have a significant influence on children’s life.
- Right to file a formal, legal complaint when rights are violated
AI for kids must include a responsible party and a procedure for children and their families to follow when their rights are violated.
How AI for kids could impact their behavior and development is important to consider. Compared to adults, kids are more flexible and impressionable. Therefore, may improper AI promote undesirable habits? (For instance, tech addiction.) Could the films and other information that AI analytics suggests to kids sway their worldview?
Additionally, there is a chance that AI will affect how kids communicate and grow socially. It’s crucial that the conversations take place right now and that AI is developed with consideration for how it will affect our future generations.
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