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  • Writer's pictureJunior Oliveira

​How will ChatGPT affect children's learning?

Updated: Mar 31, 2023

Whether you are a tech-savvy parent or not, I am sure you have heard about ChatGPT. It is everywhere, and there is a lot of buzz around this new AI tool. The overall response to ChatGPT and other AI apps is positive and hopeful, rather than negative and suspicious, regardless of whether people trust them or not. In addition, it is not uncommon for children to be ahead of adults in their lives as regards certain technological advances. Thus, we must gain some understanding of ChatGTP if we are to stay up to date with the extraordinary development pace of this AI tool since its creation.


But, first of all, we need to understand what it is; ChatGPT is a chatbot created by OpenAI, a startup that received funding from Microsoft and was co-founded by Elon Musk in 2015. It was released on November 30th of the previous year and is a powerful tool with potential impacts on communication, education, and various other areas. AI chatbots have become a significant industry, as demonstrated by Google's loss of $100 billion in market value due to Bard, their own bot, incorrectly answering a single question.

Society has raised many questions regarding ChatGPT, including concerns about journalistic and academic integrity, as well as parents' concerns about its impact on schooling, online safety, and misinformation. To address these concerns, this article aims to provide an overview of ChatGPT, its purpose, and its impact, particularly on children.

Although AI chatbots like ChatGPT are fascinating and entertaining, they are also making their way into the realm of education, which raises concerns for parents. Instances of students plagiarizing with ChatGPT have already been reported, and the tool has been banned in some school districts. Another issue is misinformation, as ChatGPT uses data from 2021, which may be outdated.


To identify AI-generated content, parents and educators can use the free tool developed by OpenAI called "AI Text Classifier," and ChatGPT provides tips for spotting AI-generated text. Interestingly, even children and young adults are sceptical about the benefits of ChatGPT and other AI tools, according to a linguistics researcher at Stanford (Naimi S. Baron).


Despite the challenges, some teachers in America are recognizing the value of integrating ChatGPT and other tools into education and explaining their uses and limitations, but like them or not, AI tools are here to stay. In this context, Gecker (Fortune) emphasizes that there are also potential benefits:


  1. ChatGPT is a free tool that can be accessed by children of all social classes, which is a positive point because most educational tools are not affordable or accessible to everyone.

  2. ChatGPT can be used as an assistant or workstation to help teachers manage large classes, direct attention where it's most needed, and reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed.

  3. Powerful AI tools like ChatGPT can be a valuable source for problem-solving and lateral thinking games, which can be especially beneficial for children who struggle with more traditional educational methods.

  4. Using new and innovative tools like ChatGPT for positive purposes will improve tech literacy and inspire children, especially girls who are underrepresented in STEM fields, to have a passion for tomorrow's inventions.

  5. Using tools like ChatGPT from an early age will prepare future generations to navigate the new and increasingly AI-integrated world, as technology continues to advance.

My final words: I am not defending the use of ChatGTP or any other artificial intelligence, and I am not trying to push parents to incorporate AI into their children's daily lives, but as a parent, I would remind you that we need to be prepared in order to guide our children; it is hard, I know, as technology is advancing too fast, but we can equip children with agency and a sense of purpose, and the competencies they need, so as to shape their own lives and contribute to the lives of others.


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