My kids are a little older now but, as a young parent, I recall growing weary at the end of a long day responding to their seemingly endless number of questions. “Dad, why is the grass green? Dad, why is the sky blue? Dad, why is the caution light yellow and not blue? Dad, why is your face getting so red?”
Not infrequently, my responses would end at that last bastion of parental retreat, “Just because,” I’d say. (Now, I know what you’re thinking … that I’m bad and lazy parent. Perhaps this true but I have an excuse it because, well, it’s just because!)
As I was reading this article today (Tweens Secret Lives Online) about how many young children are accessing new social media sites against their parents wishes (and knowledge), this comment caught my attention:
When Ms. Schwab recently wondered out loud what the weather was like, her son responded, “Ask Siri.”
Today, Siri, can only answer rudimentary questions but, as with so many other technologies, it will grow exponentially more powerful in the coming years.
What then are the implications for parenting and our educational institutions when every child can get sound answers to their endless list of questions?
I’m not suggesting that either parents or teachers will be replaced. I do, however, believe it is our responsibility to begin thinking about the profound implications artificial intelligence will have on our ability to supplement and improve both our own — and our children’s — intelligence.
At a minimum, it’s imperative that we seek to harness artificial intelligence as a means to stimulate and encourage curiosity in our children and not use it as a tool to avoid that responsibility ourselves.