April 14, 2024 at 2:31 pm

AI-Generated YouTube Content Could Be Affecting Your Child’s Brain Development

by Trisha Leigh

Source: Shutterstock

One of the hardest things for me as a Gen X / Millennial parent is figuring out the best way to police the internet for my kids.

Because let’s be honest, no one policed me – but there wasn’t a whole lot of activity going on online in the 80s and 90s.

If you let your kids watch YouTube, you might want to make sure you know exactly what they’re watching – because if it’s generated by AI, you’ll probably want to turn it off.

AI junk isn’t good for anyone, but for your kids, whose brains are still super elastic and forming, it can be downright dangerous.

Source: Shutterstock

This report states that AI scammers are generating bizarre kid’s videos to post on YouTube. They’re meant to mimic Cocomelon, but they’re not marked as AI.

They’re also not the (relatively) harmless content one might think at first glance.

A simple YouTube search will return a host of these videos made with OpenAI’s ChatGPT, ElevenLabs’ Adobe Express’s AI suite, and more.

The videos can be short or long, and even though they might claim to be educational, that’s rarely the case.

None of them are made with childhood development in mind, and neuroscientists like Eric Hoel are concerned about how this could affect the children who are viewing.

“All around the nation there are toddlers plunked down in front of iPads being subjected to synthetic runoff. There’s no other word but dystopian.”

YouTube claims to be trying to police these videos, but it’s not very rigorous.

“Our main approach will be to require creators themselves to disclose when they’ve created altered or synthetic content that’s realistic. …We already use a system of automated filters, human review, and user feedback to moderate the platform.”

Source: Shutterstock

Some experts (or most, really) like Tracy Pizzo Frey, the senior AI advisor at Common Sense Media, don’t think YouTube is doing enough.

“Meaningful human oversight, especially of generative AI, is incredibly important. That responsibility shouldn’t be entirely on the shoulders of families.”

Which means that even if there’s a steep learning curve, we have to figure it out for our kids.

Because gone is the world where they’ll be content to pay outside until we can all watch our screens together.

If you enjoyed that story, check out what happened when a guy gave ChatGPT $100 to make as money as possible, and it turned out exactly how you would expect.