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Artificial intelligence and its risks to children

Ahmed Salah


Artificial intelligence and its risks to children

Today's children are surrounded by artificial intelligence, in every aspect, from the decisions that determine the videos they watch online, and their curriculum at school, to AI-powered games and platforms that tell bedtime stories at the click of a button.

These technologies will not disappear and will continue with progress and our daily interactions with them, meaning that AI can have a greater role in the working lives of future generations – skills in this area may be one of the job requirements, as technological changes can determine career paths.

What should you worry about?

There are fears that AI could serve as a double-edged sword, especially when it comes to children, where the risks range from privacy and safety issues to psychological and behavioral effects, according to a report by UNICEF and the World Economic Forum. These problems will likely come from social media:

1. Exposure to bad content

AI-based algorithms recognize the content that children search for and interact with, filling their pages with it even if it is harmful to them or the people around them. Although social media platforms have taken steps to mitigate the problem, they have not been able to eliminate it.

2. Sharing their personal data

Children may also be less careful about sharing their personal data online, making them more vulnerable to data breaches such as those that recently hit ChatGPT.

3. Teaches them prejudice and accepting inequality

Schools that use artificial intelligence may inadvertently exclude student applications, as a kind of bias or inequality in the UK, for example, a new artificial intelligence algorithm that incorrectly assesses A-level exams for students away from equality has emerged, and is shattering the hopes of many to attend the top universities.

4. Affects their independence and decisions

Another risk associated with autonomy and decision-making is that as AI intertwines children's daily lives, it may restrict and control their decisions. As experts say, they suggest that education is key to addressing and mitigating these risks.

5. Limit creativity and innovative thinking

Overreliance on computers and artificial intelligence can reduce creativity and innovative thinking in children, turning them into mere consumers of information rather than creators and innovators.

6. Impact on Ethics

It is imperative to adopt socially appropriate ethics when teaching children the rules of artificial intelligence to push them to use it in a safe and ethical way. To have the ability to make decisions and defend themselves in an increasingly automated world

7. Children do not teach literature

These devices cannot teach children how to behave politely, because the devices respond without the child having to say "please" or "thank you", nor does the child need to think about the tone of his voice.

8- Give them information that is not appropriate for their age

When children ask questions to adults, they can respond with contextual information, explain it within the limits of children's knowledge, and investigate the child's comprehension of information, which devices cannot do.

9 - Negatively affects the social and emotional development of the child

This is done by hindering their critical thinking and controlling their empathy, compassion, and learning skills. Nonverbal device communication makes using devices a bad way to learn social interaction, while in normal human interactions, a child usually receives feedback if they behave inappropriately.