Children’s Safety from the Effects of Artificial Intelligence

For several years, artificial intelligence has been utilized in products aimed at children, but regulation protecting kids from the technology’s possible consequences is still in its infancy. UN News spoke to two UNICEF experts about the need for improved police protection ahead of a worldwide forum on AI for children. 

AI technologies are already incorporated in toys, virtual assistants, video games, and adaptive learning software, and children interact with them in a variety of ways. Despite the fact that AI policies and practices have a significant impact on children’s life, UNICEF discovered that children’s rights are, at best, an afterthought when it comes to AI policies and procedures. 

In response, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has created a draft Policy Guidance on AI for Children to promote children’s rights and raise understanding of how AI systems might support or undermine these rights. 

There are numerous positive applications of AI in education that can be used to provide tailored learning. It has applications in healthcare, language simulation, and processing, as well as supporting children with disabilities. 

Children are constantly exposed to digital technologies, yet they are unaware, as are many adults, that many of the toys or platforms they use are powered by artificial intelligence. As a result, and because of their unique vulnerabilities, children must be given special treatment. 

Third parties commercialize and use the data footprint that youngsters leave when they use digital technology for their own profit and gain. Ads that aren’t truly relevant to them are frequently targeted at them. We’ve been paying great attention to this and keeping an eye on it. 

Governments must think about and prioritize children in all policy decisions involving emerging digital technology. If they do not consider them and their requirements. Then they’re really missing out on some incredible opportunities. 

In March, the Scottish government unveiled its AI strategy, and UNICEF’s policy guideline on AI for children was officially implemented. Part of this was due to the fact that the government as a whole had ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Children’s lives are no longer truly online or offline. It’s now a digital life.