What Parents Need to Know About ChatGPT

By now you’ve probably heard of ChatGPT and more recently about Bard. It’s shaping up to be quite the battle of the AI tech titans, and as parents we need to help ensure our kids aren’t among the casualties. Microsoft announced a multi-year partnership with OpenAI who developed ChatGPT, and Google, not to be outdone, is rolling out a chatbot named Bard. Meta (aka: Facebook) is joining the fray soon, too!

As a dad who works with AI in my professional life, I know a thing or two about the challenges these cutting-edge tools can pose, especially to our kids. The good news is, with a little preparation and awareness, we can help our children navigate these challenges, of which there are many. And we can also help prepare them to appropriately take advantage of the power of AI, because it’s not going away. I should add, the opinions expressed here are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of my employer.

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I’ll write more articles about other areas of concern as it applies to AI tools like ChatGPT and our kids, but I’ll start with something our children’s teachers are already having problems with, and that’s homework. Here’s what you need to know about these new AI tools and their potential impact on your child’s homework:

Pros of AI in Homework: Let’s start with the positive side of the coin. AI can be a useful coming up with ideas and when doing research. With just a few clicks, your child can access an endless stream of information and resources, doing homework a breeze. Plus, AI-powered tools like ChatGPT can help with spell-checking, grammar, and even creative writing. BUT, and you knew there was a ‘but’ coming…

Cons of AI in Homework: However, with great power comes great responsibility. And let me tell you, AI can also be a double-edged sword when it comes to homework. The biggest challenge is the potential for AI to provide the wrong answers. I don’t need to tell you that not all information on the internet is accurate, and even the smartest AI tool can’t always tell the difference between good and bad sources.

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Another challenge is the potential for AI to do the student’s writing for them. While it may save time in the short run, it doesn’t help your child learn and develop critical thinking skills. And, let’s be real, what’s the point of homework if it’s not challenging our kids to think and grow?

How to Prepare and Address the Challenges: So, what can we do as parents to prepare and address these challenges? Here are my top suggestions:

  1. Teach them to fact-check: Encourage your child to always double-check their information, especially when using AI tools for research.
  2. Set limits on AI usage: Help your child understand the difference between using AI for inspiration and using it to do all the work for them.
  3. Get involved: Take an active role in your child’s homework by asking questions and engaging in discussions about what they’re learning.
  4. Embrace the learning process: Remember that homework is not just about getting a good grade, it’s about learning and growing. Encourage your child to embrace the process, even if it’s challenging at times.
  5. If you haven’t played with ChatGPT yet, you should. It’s fascinating and a bit terrifying. It’s important that we as parents do our best, and it’s hard, to keep up with all the apps and tools our kids are using.

It’s a brave new world friends! There’s no question AI can be a powerful tool for our kids, but it’s important to be aware of the challenges it can pose. One thing is for sure, we’re not stuffing this genie back into its bottle

So we need to do our best to stay on top of it. By preparing for and addressing these challenges, we can help our children make the most of AI while avoiding potential pitfalls. And, hey, maybe we’ll learn a thing or two along the way!

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