A.I. is a field of study in computer science. It deals with creating machines or devices that are “intelligent” and can perform tasks like a human.
Today’s kids are growing up in the cusp of A.I. (Artificial Intelligence). They have been called “Generation A.I.” because they are surrounded by A.I. all the time. Around 1/3 of online users are children and teens.
They know Alexa or Siri on a first name basis.
They are seeing self-driving cars coming on the roads.
They get into phones through face recognition.
They play with toys that are embedded with A.I.
They interact with chat-bots on websites to get questions answered.
They spend hours at a time interacting with video games that have A.I.
A.I. is taking over many of the jobs and tasks that used to be done by people.
A.I. takes people’s data and through social media, then offers them options to purchase things based on their data.
Have you ever mentioned something in passing while your smartphone is on? Then within a short time, something pops up that is for sale through your social media apps? It happens to me often.
Some fear that A.I. will reduce the time today’s kids spend interacting with real people. They say if children become too reliant on A.I. it could cause them to miss out on critical connections with real people. This is a valid concern. Will A.I. replace crucial aspects of parenting?
With the rise of A.I. in learning, there are also concerns about the
potential negative impact it could have on children. Some experts argue
that A.I. based learning platforms could hinder critical thinking skills and reduce human interaction, which is an essential aspect of learning.
One of the positive benefits of A.I. for kids is it helps them get answers quickly and learn faster. We know kids are naturally curious and ask thousands of questions. It benefits both parents and children to have quick access to seemingly unlimited knowledge in less than a minute.
Years or decades from now, will there be volunteer robots serving in children’s ministry?
Will there be volunteer robots helping guests check in?
Will A.I. be at church so kids can find the answer to any Biblical questions they may have in seconds?
Will there be volunteer robots that put the supplies together for a volunteer teacher?
Will there be volunteer robots reading Bible stories to children in preschool?
A.I. volunteers who are always on time?
That might be pretty cool, but I still believe a volunteer that serves in guest services can bring more kindness and hospitality than an A.I. interface device.
I still believe that nothing or no one can take the place of a caring volunteer who shares Bible stories with children with a smile on their face and an overflowing heart of love.
I still believe a volunteer who prays over the children with a tear in his or her eye can’t be replaced by A.I. and technology.
A.I. doesn’t have any emotions. But the children who are asking A.I. questions do have emotions.
What do you think about A.I.? Do you think it’s a new, terrifying technology or a helpful tool? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.