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les défricheurs agency
  • Writer's pictureAdrien da Cunha Belves

Between play and awakening: generative AI as a traveling companion for children

Updated: Mar 4

A long car ride with kids can turn a simple outing into an exhausting experience. On a recent trip with my 6 and 9 year old daughters, I sought help from ChatGPT. Answer ? A simple game: find, in our environment, objects starting with each letter of the alphabet. But how do I include my 2-year-old younger daughter? Asking for alternatives, ChatGPT suggested adapting the game from letters to colors. It was a success! This innocuous interaction made me think about the impact of generative AI on the education and development of children.

The impact on children's creativity

In the ever-changing world of children, generative AI acts as a catalyst for creativity. Beyond traditional media, it opens up an interactive space, where ideas come to life with a touch of a screen or a voice command. AI encourages children to transcend the conventional, offering artistic or narrative alternatives that challenge their imagination. This technology becomes a partner in the creative process, alleviating the anxiety of the blank page and introducing a dynamic form of brainstorming where each input, whether human or generated by AI, builds a surge of inspiration. p>

Navigating the boundaries of AI

Interaction with ChatGPT also revealed some interesting limitations, highlighting that artificial intelligence, despite its advanced level, has its weaknesses. A prime example occurred when my older daughter attempted to use ChatGPT to create charades. Although the tool brilliantly broke down words into syllables and generated riddles for each, the final charades lacked finesse and cohesion, losing the subtle ingenuity often characteristic of this word game. This episode highlights a crucial reality of generative AI: it excels at algorithmic logic and data manipulation, but it can fall short in areas requiring a deep understanding of human subtleties, humor, or double-crossing. senses, often secondary skills for a human being. This experience serves as a timely reminder that, despite advances in AI, there are nuances of intelligence and creativity that it cannot yet fully capture. It reinforces the importance of using AI as a complement to human learning and creativity, rather than a replacement, and reminds parents and educators to prepare children to recognize and navigate the limitations of these technologies.

When ChatGPT stumbles: the charades test

The interaction with ChatGPT also highlighted interesting limitations, reminding us that artificial intelligence, however sophisticated it may be, is not without flaws. A particularly telling case came when my oldest daughter challenged ChatGPT in the art of creating charades. The tool managed to break words down into syllables and come up with riddles for each, but the final product curiously lacked the cleverness and ingenuity we often associate with these playful puzzles.

This experiment demonstrates a fundamental truth of generative AI: while it can compete with logical and analytical processes, it sometimes encounters obstacles in spheres requiring intrinsically human finesse, such as humor, gaming words or double meaning. It's a valuable reminder that, despite the impressive advances in AI, there are facets of intelligence and creativity that still elude its grasp. This highlights the importance of using AI as a tool to complement, not replace, human ingenuity, guiding children to recognize and navigate the limitations of these fascinating technologies.

Prompt or not? The dilemma of letting AI lead the dance

The dilemma in using generative AI lies in navigating structure and spontaneity. Teaching children to interact with AI via specific prompts can sharpen their critical thinking skills and improve communication. However, the freedom to explore AI without restrictions stimulates curiosity, encouraging an autonomous and intuitive form of learning. Balance is therefore essential. Young users should be guided in prompting techniques, but given enough latitude to venture into unexplored cognitive territories, thereby cultivating original thinking.

Growing up with AI: a journey through the ages

Generative AI, when adapted to different phases of childhood, offers unique opportunities. For toddlers, it creates interactive stories, while for older children, it becomes a learning tool, supplementing their studies with personalized tutoring or expanding their creative horizons. Adolescence sees the introduction of discussions about the ethics of AI and navigating social media. At every stage, AI can enrich the experience, but it requires careful monitoring to ensure a safe and relevant interaction.

Towards the infinity of being: Children and AI shaping the future together

In this journey to the heart of the interaction between children and AI, let's question not only the practical possibilities but also the deeper implications of this convergence. Artificial intelligence is not just a tool our children use, but a mirror reflecting the innate curiosity, obstacles, hopes and dreams that reside in the developing mind. As parents, educators, and members of society, our role extends far beyond simply overseeing the use of technology.

We are the guides in this terra incognita, balancing the wonders of AI with caution and awareness, to prevent its light from becoming a mirage. Our children, navigating the digital waves of the AI generation, are not just users; they are pioneers, exploring the boundaries of what it means to be human in a world increasingly mediated by technology.

The future is a dialogue — an exchange between human and machine, the real and the virtual, the individual and the other. It is in this balance that the true growth potential lies. Failures and successes, moments of connection and obstacles are all components of this journey. With every interaction, question, play, and inquiry, children not only shape their understanding of the world, but they also weave the web of their identity in the digital age.

Aware of this, let us welcome AI not as an end in itself, but as a traveling companion in the incessant quest for knowledge, personal expression and wisdom. It is with optimism and responsibility that we must walk this path, guiding the new generation through the challenges of AI, towards a horizon of limitless possibilities, where humanity and technology meet and mutually redefine each other.< /p>


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