Introduction: Prioritizing the online safety of children and teenagers has become a focal point for policymakers, and artificial intelligence (AI) is emerging as a promising solution in creating a safer internet and social media environment. President Joe Biden’s executive order emphasizes the importance of data privacy legislation that safeguards all Americans, especially minors. AI has the potential to mitigate online risks and make the internet a safer space for young users.
AI Enhancements for Online Safety:
- Promoting Transparency and Explainable AI: AI systems can increase transparency on social media platforms. Through explainable AI, parents can better understand how recommendation systems function, allowing them to restrict inappropriate content on their child’s device effectively.
- Real-Time Education and Safety: AI can serve as a valuable educational tool for teenagers online. Social media apps like Yubo incorporate AI to educate users about safe behavior and intervene in real-time when sensitive information is about to be shared. This helps protect Generation Z from online scams and other threats.
- AI Content Moderation: AI monitoring and content moderation tools show promise in protecting minors online. Platforms like Yik Yak have partnered with AI content moderation companies to reintroduce safer environments. Apple also employs AI in iMessage to filter explicit photos, notifying minors and alerting parents of concerning messages.
Future Potential: These early applications of AI for online safety represent just the beginning. As advancements and innovative tools continue to emerge, the protection of minors in the digital realm is expected to improve further. AI can be a valuable ally for caregivers, parents, and policymakers as they work towards creating a secure online space for young users.
While AI cannot solve all online safety challenges, it has significant potential to complement existing tools and address concerns regarding minors’ safety, especially within social media environments. By leveraging AI, society can preserve the positive aspects of the internet while effectively managing its risks. AI tools can be instrumental in protecting children and teenagers online, supporting caregivers, parents, and policymakers in their efforts.