The Silent Dangers: Examining the Dark Side of AI Apps for Kids

Cyber security experts point out that the use of artificial intelligence can threaten the safety of children on the Internet like no other technology to date

by Sededin Dedovic
The Silent Dangers: Examining the Dark Side of AI Apps for Kids
© Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

We live in an era where technology plays an important role in children's lives, and there has been considerable concern among cybersecurity experts about the potential threats posed by the use of artificial intelligence (AI).

Experts argue that the widespread integration of AI applications could threaten children's safety in various ways. According to a study conducted by the United Nations, a staggering 80 percent of young people claim to use artificial intelligence on a daily basis.

Cyber security experts point out the alarming risks associated with this widespread use, especially in the context of the seemingly innocuous applications that have emerged with the development of AI. Among them are apps that contain image filters, which may seem harmless, but raise concerns about the safety of photos children upload.

Chatbots and video-games

A significant threat is also represented by chatbots with artificial intelligence, designed with the intention of engaging users in a conversation. Kaspersky, a prominent cybersecurity company, warns that some chatbots are specifically programmed to deliver inappropriate content.

Even with age verification requirements, these chatbots can allow children to hide their real age, exposing them to content that could have profound consequences for them. The landscape of video games on smart devices further increases the risks.

Statistics reveal that a staggering 91 percent of children between the ages of three and 15 play video games on smart devices. Within these gaming environments, voice and text conversations with other players create avenues for cybercriminals to exploit children.

By building virtual trust, luring them with gifts and subsequently obtaining personal information, cybercriminals exploit the vulnerable space that online gaming provides. The child-friendly FinTech industry has been identified as a potential threat, and experts are calling for proactive measures before it's too late.

To mitigate these risks, they recommend that parents stay informed about the latest threats, actively monitor their children's Internet activities, and engage in open communication with them. Using digital tools and literature designed to help parents navigate the digital environment can improve their ability to effectively protect their children.