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How to boost children’s creativity with AI?

Today's kids are exposed to technology from an early age. Can new technology, specifically machine learning and artificial intelligence, actually help kids become more creative? These AI-powered models provide inspiration, generate ideas, and offer feedback that can help spark creativity and encourage kids to think outside the box. How can AI enhance children’s creative skills?

There are many ways in which the current form of ML-powered tools can help with creativity. For example, imagine a situation where children are given an assignment at school to write a story about what their life would look like in the magical fantasy universe of Harry Potter. In addition to the basic framework and facts provided by the ChatGPT model, they must add their own creative input. The intro of such a collaboration could look like this:

Prompt: Describe the Harry Potter universe for me, providing information about specific areas of the wizarding world where a child could live.

ChatGPT response: The Harry Potter universe is a magical world created by J.K. Rowling, where witches and wizards live alongside Muggles (non-magical people) but remain hidden from their awareness. There are several areas in the wizarding world where a child could live, each with its own unique characteristics. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry: Located in Scotland, Hogwarts is a renowned boarding school where young witches and wizards between the ages of 11 and 17 receive their magical education. The school is divided into four houses - Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and Slytherin - each with its own dormitories, common rooms, and distinct qualities. Students live in their respective house dormitories and attend classes in subjects such as Potions, Charms, Transfiguration, and Defense Against the Dark Arts.

Machine learning versus artificial intelligence

This is one of the possible ways of what the future of education might look like if schools adopt similar tools as a teacher’s assistant. But first, what can we picture under the term artificial intelligence in 2023? “Services like ChatGPT and Midjourney feature machine learning models that are trained on massive amounts of data. They are tools that generate automated text or visual outputs to prompts but are still far from thinking like a human brain,” explains ESET’s security awareness specialist Ondrej Kubovic.

While language models can seem impressive and even human-like in some cases, they are far from achieving sentience or true consciousness. Sentience refers to the ability to perceive, feel and experience subjectivity, which is something that current AI systems are not capable of. “We are experiencing a significant technological shift forward in this area, but it is still not artificial intelligence that thinks like a human and that would be completely independent of human supervision,” adds Kubovic.

What ML-powered tools can parents and kids use to enhance creativity?

ChatGPT: A language model trained to follow an instruction in a prompt and provide a detailed response. DALL-E: A system that can create realistic images and art from a description in natural language. Midjourney: An independent research lab exploring new mediums of thought and expanding the imaginative powers of the human species.

Create together with your kids

ML and AI have become increasingly popular for enhancing various activities, including children's creativity. Creativity is an important skill that can help kids develop their imagination, problem-solving and critical thinking. “AI models can help find a different point of view. For example, when writing a paper or a project, they can show a young user how to approach the topic more interestingly and creatively,” explains ESET’s security awareness specialist. Apart from providing inspiration and generating ideas, there are other ways to work on creativity with your children.

Make a storyboard with your children via Midjourney and take turns adding to it or create a piece of art using AI-generated images. Let your kids use their imagination and share a creative hobby. You can even use language models such as ChatGPT to generate writing assignments for your children. Ask them to write short stories or poems based on these prompts. This can tremendously help them develop their writing skills. Creative exercises to try out with your children

Algorithms will never get tired of suggesting new topics – although they might become somewhat repetitive – and can thus help young users discover an ever-growing number of areas to explore. “We have already experienced similar technological inventions in the past. Internet search engines and online encyclopedias have changed the way students search for information and have also altered the perspective of many school systems, among which some had previously pushed against this trend and considered books as the only reliable source,” says Ondrej Kubovic.

Use current AI and ML-powered tools to explore new, often niche ideas and concepts with your children. Discover new interests and spark their imagination. Children can use these tools to ask questions they were afraid or ashamed to ask adults. ChatGPT is non-judgmental and can offer a more practical answer than a human. In the case of teenagers, it may concern essential topics of mental or sexual health. For example, they can ask ChatGPT how to handle a certain conflict situation. After getting an answer, they may carry on with additional questions or comments. ChatGPT is patient and can add more information built on the previous context and clarify without judgement.

“However, I would advise people only to ask generic questions and avoid providing any personal information that could be stored, used to profile the person or sold further (for advertisement targeting by the companies owning the model,” adds Kubovic.

On top of privacy issues, there are other concerns regarding the cybersecurity of ML-powered tools and NSFW (not safe for work) content they can contain – you can read more about it in our previous article.

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