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illustrated laptop with a chatbot open saying "write me an essay about hamlet" Kids and Technology

Top 5 AI Platforms Kids Are Using

Allison Scovell  |  May 21, 2024

Whether you realize it or not, AI — artificial intelligence — influences almost every part of our lives now. However you interact with AI platforms in your daily life, you may not be aware of the different ways your child encounters it in their online world. 

To help you stay ahead of the AI game, we put together the top five AI platforms kids are using. We’ll discuss what they are and the dangers presented with each. 

Top 5 AI Platforms Parents Should Know About

ChatGPT 

Now the go-to AI platform for most, ChatGPT has a vast database of information allowing it to address tons of topics. Once it was released in 2022, kids quickly realized it could be the one-stop shop for all their homework needs. In response, many schools opted to ban ChatGPT from their devices to prevent cheating. 

Outside of the classroom, kids may still use ChatGPT just for the fun of messing with an AI bot. ChatGPT does have NSFW filters, but people have proven they can work around or “trick” the bot into having inappropriate conversations anyway. 

Character.AI 

Character.AI is a super popular platform among Gen Z. This conversational AI platform allows you to have a text conversation with just about any fictional character or celebrity you can think of — anyone from Taylor Swift to Napoleon Bonaparte. You can also create your own characters and make them public for others to chat with. 

Some content on Character.AI is concerning, as people have made characters such as “Toxic Boyfriend” to chat with. The app does have NSFW filters but again, these are not fool-proof and kids could still encounter inappropriate content here. 

Aside from inappropriate content, there is a risk of kids relying on these bot conversations to receive emotional support instead of going to family or friends. While chatting with AI can be fun, it’s important that kids understand it can’t ever replace real-life relationships.  

MyAI - Snapchat 

Snapchat, in a never-ending effort to keep kids tapping away on their app, released MyAI — essentially Snapchat’s version of ChatGPT accessible right inside the app. This chatbot is considerably more risky, and Snapchat itself says as much. They warn users that the bot could give responses that are “biased, incorrect, harmful, or misleading.” While kids could use it to ask harmless questions, there are simply not enough guardrails to prevent kids from being exposed to inappropriate content. 

Pro tip: Bark can monitor MyAI chats on Androids and the Bark Phone! If your child uses this feature and ends up in a concerning conversation, you’ll be sent an alert right away. 

Replika 

Replika describes their chatbot as “the AI companion who cares.” Essentially, you can create your very own AI companion and make it fit any archetype you want — friend, romantic partner, sibling, mentor, and more. You can give your companion a backstory, detail their preferences and history, and even decide if it acts more like an AI or a human. 

This one is not only offered on mobile devices but also as an app for VR headsets. So kids can now talk to their AI companion standing right in front of them. They can even interact with the avatar, such as making the avatar move around the room and tossing a tennis ball back and forth.

This might seem a little too far into the AI world for some, and you may be thinking about movies like Her. But it’s worth noting that AI companions are not super widespread yet and it’s not clear that tons of kids are flocking to apps like Replika at the moment. 

Schoolhack 

Aptly named, Schoolhack is a chatbot that helps students with their homework. You can ask this bot any school-related questions, upload pictures of your assignments, and get answers quickly. The platform tries to emphasize using it as a tool to learn and to be fair, the bot often explains answers, as opposed to just spitting them out. But it’s hard to say how many kids are actually reading through the explanations and not just skipping straight to the answer. 

Another concern with Schoolhack is that they have the option to create groups with other users and send direct messages to each other, making the app much more concerning for kids to use. They also directly link to a SchoolHack Discord server and encourage students to join it, giving kids another platform to interact with strangers.

How Bark Can Help

If you want to make sure these apps are blocked on your child’s devices, you may want to use Bark’s powerful web-filtering features to control what your child can access. Bark allows you to fully block any of these platforms — both as an app and a website. 
Or, you can limit what time of day your child has access to these. For instance, you may want to make sure ChatGPT and Schoolhack are blocked during school and homework hours so they won’t be tempted to rely on them for quick answers. Start your free, 7-day trial today and see how Bark can give you peace of mind about your child’s online world.

Bark helps families manage and protect their children’s digital lives.

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