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Raising a New Generation of AI Thinkers: How to Talk to Your Children About Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) has become more than just a buzzword or a trend over the past few years. Most of us are already using AI-based applications in our homes, our jobs, and our entire society. Just think of recommendations based on previous purchases, smart home assistants, or intelligent traffic control.
As parents and educators, we need to help our children understand the basics of AI and its implications as well as encourage them to think critically about this technology. Here are tips and guidance on how to approach the subject and foster an interest in this exciting and rapidly evolving field.

How AI Works

The term AI describes how machines, such as computers, simulate processes that we normally associate with humans. These processes include learning and reasoning, for example. Equipment with artificial intelligence applications allows computers to recognize speech or identify the contents of an image.
One of the biggest strengths of AI is its ability to analyze a huge amount of data faster and more reliably than humans can. This strength is already being used to improve healthcare, transportation, and many other areas of our lives. AI can help find solutions for complex questions faster and more reliably. Rather than having to try out different options, machines consider the benefits and downsides of each and provide their humans with a summary.

Why are Some People Concerned About AI?

Some people worry that technologies like AI will come to replace humans, leading to lost jobs. Others are concerned that powerful technologies like these can be misused if they fall into the wrong hands.
When it comes to jobs, AI is currently used to add to and improve what humans can do. AI applications take care of data analysis and deliver results for humans to consider. They contribute to decision-making but don’t make the decisions.
It is also important to think about how we use these technologies. AI has the potential to improve the life of every single person on this planet if we use it ethically and for the benefit of all. One example of this is the analysis of climate and weather patterns to better predict natural catastrophes and limit their potential negative impact. 

How Can Your Kids Engage With AI?

Chances are that your kids have already come across AI-based applications, perhaps without their knowledge. Their future will be shaped by this technology, and it’s important to help them understand it and embrace its potential.
Enrolling in online classes that explain the basics of coding is one way to break down barriers between (small) humans and technology. Asking your kids to highlight AI in their environment is another great option to encourage engagement and start a conversation about technology. You don’t need to be an AI expert. Instead, you and your kids could explore the technology together. You’ll be building your own understanding of AI and its potential whilst raising a new generation of AI thinkers who are prepared to shape the future of this technology.