Mini Bio:

When it comes to the use of AI in education or edutainment, few concerns cross the mind such as will AI/ML ever replace parents? AI to positively influence children around the world but will privacy concerns ever go away? Here’s the biggest misconception when it comes to AI/ML and devices for children. 

What are the perceptions of AI in education/edutainment?

With artificial intelligence and machine learning, new toys for children are being designed for children to support their developing minds. There is this strange notion that it is replacing parents. This cannot actually be true and it certainly isn’t the case.

Conversations with parents indicate that this perception causes them to turn away from such helpful tools. Sara Sawaf, founder of AYA Animations, originally shared similar sentiments as a parent. However, her research accompanied by her work in animations made her realize the positive impacts.

Her own experience with AI came in when she started working on projects related to dubbing where AI cut nearly 90% of her time and effort in the translation process. AI/ML will enable Sara’s edutainment series of wholesome values to reach a broader audience in many different languages. Thus exposing more children to her series to learn valuable and heartwarming lifelong lessons.  

Due to this exposure and experience with AI, Sara has a changed outlook and believes that “if AI is programmed and we give it the correct data that it needs, it becomes your assistant”.

With her team at AYA Animations, Sara wants to create immersive experiences for kids by engaging them while helping parents know that their kids are in a safe space and continue to do this with support from artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML). 

Privacy concerns regarding the data collected by these AI-powered toys   

Privacy is essentially a myth in our world already where phones are populated with multiple apps that are collecting data on the user, their location, content they are searching for on the internet, etc. The level of data collected to such an extent where Target was able to determine that a teen girl was possibly pregnant before her father could.

This is essentially an ongoing issue with companies who are making groundbreaking innovations and the government along with its policymakers. In addition to this, there are many misconceptions surrounding tech, especially AI and ML that only contribute to these issues where policymakers might not be as informed and knowledgeable in this area.

Amidst these issues are the concerns of parents regarding the data that is being collected on their kids who use these toys. As a parent, Sara has similar concerns and as a consumer, she shares that she would trust the entity that asks for permission to collect and share data.  

Essentially, there are important issues to address in the discussion of AI in education and edutainment dealing with privacy. However, one thing that we can all agree on is that AI is inevitable.

So, let’s get involved, ask questions and educate ourselves in an attempt to become part of the solution. Because the future of AI is in our hands. How we train it is essentially how it will be used. Involvement from people is essential in its development.

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