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An AI robot holds a press conference. The AI stated it could run the world better than humans. Photo: Video grab.

Parents ignoring AI despite concerns of its effect on kids

Although parents are concerned about artificial intelligence, they are not actively learning about the emerging technology, a new survey from the Barna Group found. Three in four are concerned about AI’s impact on their children and teens, but just 17 percent parents strongly agree that, “I actively seek out information and resources to better understand AI technologies.”

“Our research underscores a pressing reality,” Barna CEO David Kinnaman said. “While roughly one-third of parents express strong concerns regarding the data privacy, security risks and negative cognitive impacts of AI use on their children, a low percent say they actively seek to better understand AI.

“Meanwhile, their kids are eagerly embracing AI and other emerging technologies. For parents to effectively guide their children through today’s digital landscape, moms and dads will need to swiftly join them in learning about AI so they can discern the impacts and appropriate use of these powerful tools for their kids.”

READ: AI, Jesus, and the Trans Person

Among other key findings:

  • Slightly fewer than half of parents with a child under age 18 strongly agree, “I understand what artificial intelligence is.”
  • Only 15 percent of parents with a child over 18 strongly agree, “I understand what artificial intelligence is.”
  • Pastors are significantly more likely than adults in general to say they understand what AI is, with 34 percent who ”agree strongly” and 61 percent who “agree somewhat” that they understand the technology.
  • Despite strong interest in AI, many parents may not be aware of how often they already use AI in their personal lives. More than half of answer “not very much” or “not at all” when asked, “How often are you using AI in your personal life?”
  • However, when asked, “Do you regularly use technologies like Google search, social media and GPS apps such as Google Maps or Waze?” most adults report regularly using technologies that utilize AI, such as Google search (77 percent), social media (72 percent) and GPS apps (68 percent).

“One of the most surprising insights in this set of data lies in what U.S. adults wish they had been prepared for when it comes to technology,” said Steele Billings, head of AI at Gloo, which sponsored the survey. “Among Christians and church attendees, roughly half say they wish they had received more spiritual or theological guidance from church leaders around the wise use of new tech, ranging from social media and smartphones to online church attendance and digital faith sharing. It underscores that the roles of parents and leaders at church and at work are more important than ever.”

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice

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