What are the dangers of children's communication with neural networks, voice assistants?

April 18, 2024  20:19

The use of voice assistants, neural networks, and chatbots by children and teenagers can lead to the deterioration of parent-child relationships, where the parent is displaced and replaced by AI, as well as to the weakening and hindrance of children's psychological development and the degradation of the child's personality. Child psychologist and educator in psychology and pedagogy on the "Infourok" platform, Olga Bortnovskaya, spoke about this to "Gazeta.Ru".

According to the psychologist, there is a dangerous trend: the level of trust in voice assistants is higher than in parents. Children and teenagers are more likely to listen to AI than to their own family members.

"In the first place, this is because programs don't 'punish' for misbehavior - you can tell them everything without fearing parental anger. As a result, there is a breakdown of parent-child relationships, where the parent is displaced and replaced by AI. Voice assistants can also influence the formation of views and beliefs of the younger generation. Such influence of artificial intelligence can disrupt the normal process of building one's own value system and gender self-identification," noted the psychologist.

Moreover, AI performs a significant portion of mental work for children, so children will no longer need to think systematically, analyze and search for information, forecast, and make decisions. Ultimately, this leads to the weakening and inhibition of the child's development.

Another danger of AI is that the similarity of programs to humans can lead to the degradation and destruction of a child's personality.

"In other words, the child communicates with someone who has a voice, their own opinion, who can joke, empathize, and support at the level that is programmed. Gradually, the line between real and virtual blurs. Many children begin to treat AI as a living being. To the extent that children can develop romantic feelings towards the program. Such behavior can lead to sociopathy, rejection of communication with peers, and in principle with other people," noted the specialist.

At the same time, it cannot be unequivocally stated that neural networks are evil for children. They can contribute to the learning process, help children learn something new. But for this, parents must spend more time with their children, establish parental control on computers and phones, and organize their leisure time so that they are engaged in activities in the "real world".

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