Safer Internet Day 2024: Artificial Intelligence (AI) risks and opportunities for children and young people

To mark Safer Internet Day 2024, the Greek Safer Internet Centre draws attention to the dangers of using emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), especially by underage users. Cases have already become known where minors, using AI applications, have altered photographs of underage girls and started to share them 'for fun', as they said afterwards. Today, the majority of the 'deepfake' material circulating on the internet is non-consensual pornography. In other words, videos of pornographic material appear where the face has been replaced. Usually, the victims are celebrities, but anyone can become a victim. The whole issue raises great concerns about privacy on the Internet, and unfortunately, it can turn any individual into a potential victim, regardless of their gender. Parents and teachers must talk to children and adolescents about the consequences of this practice. 

2024-02-14
Hand touching an artificial brain

Cases have already become known where minors, using AI applications, have altered photographs of underage girls and started to share them 'for fun', as they said afterwards. Today, the majority of the 'deepfake' material circulating on the internet is non-consensual pornography. In other words, videos of pornographic material appear where the face has been replaced. Usually, the victims are celebrities, but anyone can become a victim. The whole issue raises great concerns about privacy on the Internet, and unfortunately, it can turn any individual into a potential victim, regardless of their gender. Parents and teachers must talk to children and adolescents about the consequences of this practice. 

It is important that children and young people understand where they can turn to if they experience non-consensual sharing of personal content online, whether it is real photos or deep fake material from an AI tool: 

  • Division of Cybercrime, Hellenic Police (helpline 11188) 
  • Open Line for reports of illegal content on the internet SafeLine.gr: SafeLine's main priority is the elimination of photos and videos depicting child abuse, as well as the protection of children's right to safe navigation on the internet. In addition to the above, we also address the harassment of children in cyberspace or via mobile phones, as well as the treatment of content concerning violence, racism, xenophobia, and anything contrary to Greek legislation. 
  • StopNCII.org: the novelty of StopNCII.org lies in the fact that the user does not need to send the photos or the link from the photos to anyone to have them removed from cyberspace. He can create his own "Case" (Case), and through the hashing technology used by this tool, he can prevent specific personal pictures/videos from being posted. 
  • Take it down: based on the principle that every child has the right to be safe online, this is a digital reporting system for children under 18 when a personal photo has been leaked. If the photo owner sends it to NCMEC, the photo will be technically prevented from being published on global platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, OnlyFans. 

Assisting children to use AI tools Safely 

Talk about the benefits and risks of using artificial intelligence 

Many AI tools can help children to be creative and learn new skills. New programmes supporting children's individual learning needs are also constantly being created. Talk to children about AI technology. Have them think about how programmes could help them learn and develop. Point out to children's potential risks. For example, many chatbots are designed to respond like humans, making children feel like they are having a social interaction. Help children know that they interact with programmes, not people with feelings and empathy. In addition, AI systems operate substantial amounts of data, so they tend to collect a lot of user information. This can endanger a child's privacy. Make sure that children know the rules of safe online behaviour. This includes not sharing personal information and getting permission before posting anything about others. 

Try AI tools together 

Having kids try out AI programmes with the support of adults is a positive idea. That way, you can ensure they are using tools that will not expose them to anything inappropriate. Testing these tools together can also help children to consider their potential benefits and risks. 

Talk about misleading or biased content 

AI tools are designed by humans. They also use data originally created by humans and data that reflects existing biases in our society. Many AI programmes may provide biased or incorrect information. Technology is not perfect and can make many mistakes. Please explain this to children and help them learn to use their critical thinking skills. 

Have discussions about plagiarism and cheating 

Apps that children can use to cheat have been around for a long time. Many popular AI tools generate text and images that children can use for schoolwork. These programs do not always provide the source for their information so that they may contain inaccuracies and errors. Explain to children that copying an AI product is plagiarism. Instead, direct them towards educational tools that help them build on what they learn at school. Age-appropriate AI tools can supplement their learning but not replace it. 

Educational material for Artificial Intelligence education from Saferinternet4kids 

The Greek Safer Internet Centre has created and published educational material where students can develop their understanding of what AI is, how algorithms work, and why this technology can make mistakes in an educator-driven learning environment, using multiple and varied stimuli. 

According to the educational level, the material included: 

You can find a starting point for all the material here. The material is based on the BIK Teachers’ corner and material from Common Sense. 

Find more information about the work of the Greek Safer Internet Centre, including its awareness raising, helpline, hotline, and youth participation services – or find similar information for other Safer Internet Centres throughout Europe.       

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