Children’s rights in Artificial Intelligence applications
It is clear that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is going to influence all of us in many activities in our lives, and children are no exception.
On the other hand, children represent about a third of the users of information and on-line APPs. In other words, they are a very representative group.
It seems more than reasonable that the UN provides a series of “principles” to be applicable in Artificial Intelligence programs so as not to harm the smallest and weakest in society.
The little ones are in a process of physical and emotional development, and therefore they are in the most moldable phase of their life. And they are consequently more defenseless than the elderly to be influenced by algorithms that “deform” the situation of the world around them.
That is why Unicef has made a series of “recommendations” to companies that develop AI programs to take into account the needs of children.
And curiously, these same recommendations have been “adopted” by the Chinese authorities (the Academy of Artificial Intelligence in Beijing), which I am happy to know, for their companies to apply.
In general, these recommendations take into account the basic needs of children in terms of privacy, fairness, understandability and their general well-being.
During the childhood years, children form their character and discover the world in which they live, and that world must not be deformed by any type of algorithm that deceives them.
There are many interests involved and children (like the oldest ones) are heavy consumers of all kinds of products. And let’s not be naive, companies make money selling things to all of us, children included
And therefore the question that arises for me is: Will AI companies follow these recommendations?
I hope and wish so. But the authorities must monitor and ensure that this is the case, because if not, it is very possible that it will not happen.