UNESCO has recently called for the swift regulation of the use of artificial intelligence, such as the viral chatbot ChatGPT, in classrooms, with a particular emphasis on restricting its use among younger children. In a guide published on Thursday, this United Nations organization believes that public authorities are not yet adequately prepared to address the ethical issues related to the integration of artificial intelligence into educational environments.
The guide recommends that governments establish a minimum age for the use of generative artificial intelligence systems, which should not be lower than 13 years old. Although ChatGPT has already set this limit in accordance with U.S. law, many experts believe that this threshold is too low and advocate for raising it to 16 years old, as highlighted in the report.
UNESCO warns of the potential consequences of replacing teachers with such programs in schools, especially regarding the emotional well-being of children and their susceptibility to manipulation.
Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, stated that generative artificial intelligence offers significant opportunities for human development but also carries risks of harm. She emphasizes that its integration into education must be accompanied by public engagement and strong government regulations.
However, UNESCO's guide acknowledges that artificial intelligence tools have the potential to assist children with specific educational needs, such as generating subtitles, provided that teachers, users, and researchers contribute to their development and that governments regulate their use.