Artificial Intelligence is a scary prospect in itself. Just by observing the lack of congressional AI regulations and concerns around AI’s inevitable negative impact on people’s livelihood, wars, terror, and the very destruction of our democracy, we can see that there is a lot to be terrified about.
Yet there is one topic that I find, especially as a father, scariest of all: AI is hurting our children.
Ensuring the safety and health of our children is the most basic human trait of all, as that is what has allowed humanity to continue on for so many years.
However, what happens when the lives of those children are being handed over to soulless, unempathetic, and lifeless robots that lack all basics of social-emotional intelligence?
We can tell an AI to ensure the safety of our children all we want, but it doesn’t matter. Because AI cannot have empathy for them, it can only imitate empathy for them. In the same way I wouldn’t want a sociopath who pretends to be empathetic watching my children, I also do not want AI to have an impact on them either.
In this article, we will explore the dangers of AI for children, the implications it has on young minds, and what we can do as parents to ensure our children stay safe and responsible when it comes to this dangerous technology.
AI Watches Your Kid A Lot More Than You Do
A major issue with the use of widespread Artificial Intelligence in today’s online society, but also that instilled in various kids’ toys, is the protection of our children’s privacy.
As AI becomes more and more prevalent in today’s society, especially regarding social media and educational tools online, there is a growing risk that children’s personal information will be compromised. Particularly concerning is the fact that children simply do not fully understand the implications of sharing their personal data online, and with artificial language models.
As parents, educators, and adults we need to be aware of all the risks associated in relation to artificial intelligence and its relation to our children’s data use. The problem here is that even fully grown adults with entire college degrees aren’t even aware of the implications it has, so how are we going to protect our children from it?
The security of our data and children’s data is a much larger issue even besides that of Artificial Intelligence, but I still believe it’s important to note that in a lot of cases, these issues go hand in hand. One large problem is simply the lack of regulation on the topic.
Congress banning TikTok will do absolutely nothing to protect our children. What they need to do is enforce stronger data laws and regulations, along with Artificial Intelligence regulations, to limit the access and impact this has on our youth.
Reality is that personal privacy is being stripped away from everyone, not just children. It is one of the most dangerous aspects of AI, yet nothing seems to be done about it. Learn how you can be aware of AI’s invasion of your privacy in our article: “The Modern-Day Plague – 5 Ways AI Is Invading Your Privacy Right Now“
AI Does Not Care About Your Kids Mental Health
Artificial intelligence will have a terrible and severe effect on our future generations’ mental health, especially in their youth. AI-powered social media algorithms on apps such as TikTok and Instagram is just the beginning of the problem, but it is still a big one. The algorithms ensure that if your child has any form of online presence, they will be constantly exposed and bombarded by an increasingly curated online world that simply doesn’t reflect reality.
I fear that my children, particularly my daughters, will become overwhelmed by the distorted and artificial world of models they are met with. This is going to lead to feelings of inadequacy, low self-esteem, and depression. As soon as AI algorithms pick up on them identifying as female, they will be swarmed in such content the second they step foot in the virtual reality we call the internet.
And speaking of mental health, can you imagine growing up in a world where you never know what is real and what is fake? I’ll do you one better: can you imagine growing up in a world that is fake, but you simply just don’t know it?
As outlined in my Elon Musk piece, AI-generated fake news has been a source of contention for some time now. It’s practically impossible for even the most educated adults to tell apart real posts from counterfeit ones or interests-based algorithms from those created solely for commercial use. That being said, how can we expect our children to make this distinction?
We’re allowing AI to essentially hijack the minds of our children, dictating their thoughts and behaviors. Youngsters are going to become highly invested in AI progress as well as its persisting consequences on current and future generations – but ignore the danger and negative consequences it has, because all the information they are taking in has already been curated by the AI itself.
The AI Brainwashing of our Children Is More Dangerous Than We Can Imagine
The implications that AI will have on the very minds of our children are a massive concern for parents and people all over the globe. Just look at the massive influx of AI-powered toys and education tools springing up in the market all around us (and that number will exponentially increase now that ChatGPT4 is a thing).
This over-reliance on technology for learning and play will have a detrimental impact on our children’s creativity, imagination, and problem-solving abilities – all of which are necessary to ensure that they grow up as healthy, normal, and emotionally intelligent human beings.
It is wild how heavily AI is becoming a part of our children’s and youths’ culture. Video games, social media, messaging platforms, videos, and especially this ridiculous new feature some apps are coming with. Seriously; if you have Snapchat or a child with one, look at one of the promoted features on the app: your very own AI buddy that is going to keep you company and talk to you like a real-life friend.
What sort of Black Mirror-esque dystopia is this??
I was already heavily skeptical of the use of AI in youth-related fields, but after doing research for this article I have become absolutely disgusted with how massive corporations are ready to huck these emotionally dead strings of code at our unknowing and uneducated children.
Protect Our Children From The Dangers Of Artificial Intelligence By Knowing Why AI Is Bad For Them
Clearly, Artificial Intelligence has a huge impact on the development and mental health of our children. Corporations, schools, and politicians are incredibly focused on using AI in a way that will benefit them financially – even when it has a significant detriment to our children.
Our children need to grow and develop into healthy adults with strong critical thinking skills, proper cognitive functions, and more importantly: emotional intelligence. There are currently no congressional regulations both nationally and internationally that prevent AI to escalate further and further into our children’s lives, which means that there is nobody to draw the line.
So if we have to guess… where is the line? At what point will all children’s textbooks be AI-generated? When are teachers replaced by robots or code that seem as real as actual people, like the Snapchat bot?
We have to do our due diligence as parents, guardians, and protectors of our youth to ensure that our children are safe from the AI plague that has taken over the world with no one in its tracks to stop it.
Make sure our children understand how AI works, so we can ensure they are never taken advantage of by those who seek to exploit them, especially when the people seeking to exploit them are dead robots.