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  • Writer's pictureMerlyn

5 Tips on How To Navigate ChatGPT: AI Impacts on Children

AI Impacts on Children is Inevitable

The rapid emergence of AI, including ChatGPT and Large Language Models, has I’m sure, caught your attention recently somewhere, whether through network news, radio or online. As parents, it is natural to be concerned about the potential impacts of AI on our children. Experts, who possess a deep understanding of the subject, caution that AI could be as disruptive as HTML in 1992 or social media in 2005, affecting mental health, education, and employment both positively and negatively. To manage the coming changes, I suggest that it is imperative for all of us to remain vigilant, educate ourselves, and proactively prepare for what lies ahead. The one thing I do know at this point is that we have to talk about it in a wider context than as a tool for students to cheat with; that would be a grave oversight.

a logo of AI

Here’s What You Can Do:

While everything is all new and changing rapidly, it’s important to not get discouraged or overwhelmed with ‘all of it’. Do what you can in the following areas, talk with others and ask them if they have ideas, opinions or concerns and as always, talk with the young people in your life about how AI is impacting them.

1. Unveiling the AI Landscape: Understand the Scope The widespread discussion surrounding AI underscores its transformative potential. We are going to have to acknowledge that AI will significantly influence mental health, education, and employment for our children. While the full extent of its impact is yet to be determined, it is crucial to remain informed and aware of the implications AI may have on many aspects of our current lives. 

  1. The A.I. Dilemma – Tristan Harris & Aza Raskin, Center for Humane Technology, March 2023 – Video 1:07 

  2. Nobel Prize Summit – Tristan Harris, 2023 – Video 15:35

  3. The Surprising Capabilities of Large Language Models – Tristan Harris and Aza Raskin, April 2023 – Video 2:49

2. Seeking Knowledge: Learn All You Can

To navigate the complex world of AI, it is essential for parents to arm themselves with knowledge. Engage in rigorous research, read reputable publications, and follow expert analysis to gain a comprehensive understanding of AI’s potential effects. By acquiring this knowledge, we can equip ourselves to make informed decisions and guide our children effectively through this new paradigm. Stay updated with news articles, attend AI-related workshops and conferences, and explore online resources that provide insights into AI’s implications for children. By actively learning about AI, you can better understand its potential benefits and risks.

  1. A Parent’s Guide To Using Ai With Kids; How to get the most out of AI tools from  

  2. Everything Parents Need to Know about AI and ChatGPT – January 2023, from ProtectYoungEyes

  3. Ai Guide For Parents, Unicef – November 2021 

  4. The Parents Guide to ChatGPT (and Generative AI) – May 2023

  5. A.I. is here to stay. What do parents need to know? –  WFAA, Texas TV,  May 2023

3. Identifying Potential Risks: Address the Concerns and Risks As with any revolutionary technology, AI carries inherent risks that demand our attention. Mental health concerns related to excessive screen time, dependency on AI-powered algorithms, and the potential for biased decision-making are among the critical considerations. it is natural to have concerns about its impact on children. Engage in discussions with other parents, teachers, and experts to address these concerns. By familiarizing ourselves with these risks, we can implement strategies to safeguard our children’s well-being and foster healthy relationships with AI.

  1. Children and AI; Where are the opportunities and risks? – Unicef, a quick summary of the issues in a pdf document 

  2. How AI-Powered Tech Can Harm Children – Time Magazine, November 2022

  3. Worried about your kids and A.I.? Experts share advice – NBC, March 2023

  4. A.I. is here to stay. What do parents need to know? –  WFAA, Texas TV,  May 2023

A hand holding a cell phone with greenery in the background.
Cell phones in children's hands are as powerful as a gun or fast car

4. Teach Children and Teens About AI, Digital Literacy and Critical Thinking Nurturing digital literacy and critical thinking skills is paramount in an AI-driven world. Teach your children to question and evaluate AI recommendations, decipher reliable sources of information, and recognize potential biases. Foster an environment where children feel comfortable discussing AI-related topics and encourage them to voice their thoughts and concerns. Encourage them to engage in open discussions about AI’s impact and implications. By empowering children, teaching them about AI and arming them with critical thinking abilities, we enable them to make discerning choices in an increasingly AI-reliant society and maintain a healthy skepticism towards AI applications.

Here are some sites that offer free education about AI. Learn with your kids!

  1. Scratch  – MIT University online course for children and youth

  2. AI4ALL is an organization that truly cares about giving young adults the tools they need to bring about change in our world

  3. AI World School – Best AI Coding courses for kids – Enroll in our courses now and empower your child to be life-ready

  4.– is part of TeachAI, dedicated to empowering educators everywhere to teach with AI and about AI.

5. Promote Mental Well-being: Set Screen Time Limits While AI presents opportunities for learning and growth, it is important to maintain a balanced approach. Encourage children to engage in activities that promote physical and social well-being, such as outdoor play, face-to-face interactions, and hobbies that do not rely solely on AI. Set boundaries for screen time and create a healthy tech environment that prioritizes real-life experiences alongside AI-enabled tools.

  1. 4 Parent-Tested Systems You Can Use To Limit Screen Time – Today’s Parent magazine, January 2023

  2. 6 Tips To Reduce Children’s Screen Time  – Mayo Clinic, April 2023

  3. Tips On Managing Your Screen Time For Good Mental Health – National Alliance on Mental Illness

As AI continues to shape our world, it is crucial for parents, teachers, and educators to stay informed and actively engage with this emerging paradigm.

By learning about AI, addressing concerns, promoting critical thinking, and fostering digital well-being, we can guide children toward responsible and meaningful interactions with AI.

Let us approach the world of AI with curiosity, open-mindedness, and a commitment to safeguarding the well-being and development of our children in this rapidly evolving landscape.


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