The Future of Child Development in the AI Era. Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives

posted in: reading | 0

This report explores the potential implications of rapidly integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications into children’s environments. The introduction of AI in our daily lives necessitates scrutiny considering the significant role of the environment in shaping cognition, socio-emotional skills, and behaviors, especially during the first 25 years of cerebral development. As AI becomes prevalent in educational and leisure activities, it will significantly modify the experiences of children and adolescents, presenting both challenges and opportunities for their developmental trajectories. This analysis was informed by consulting with 15 experts from pertinent disciplines (AI, product development, child development, and neurosciences), along with a comprehensive review of scientific literature on children development and child-technology interactions. Overall, AI experts anticipate that AI will transform leisure activities, revolutionize education, and redefine human-machine interactions. While AI offers substantial benefits in fostering interactive engagement, it also poses risks that require careful considerations, especially during sensitive developmental periods. The report advocates for proactive international collaboration across multiple disciplines and increased research into how technological innovations affect child development. Such efforts are crucial for designing a sustainable and ethical future for the next generation through specific child-centered regulations, and helping to educate all potential stakeholders (regulators, developers, parents and educators, children) about responsible AI use and its potential impacts on child development.

Ryan Watkins