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3 minutes reading time
6-17 years
Alexandra Koch / pixabay

“Just ask a chatbot!” – or something similar could be the future motto when it comes to researching on the Internet or answering tricky questions. The chat program ChatGPT is currently the talk of the town, and even children and teenagers are trying out the language program. We provide an insight into the tool.

In a nutshell:

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) based language model
  • Chat program that gives answers from the Internet
  • Developer: OpenAI
  • Registration with e-mail address and mobile phone number
  • Free of charge, no age check

What is ChatGPT?

The chatbot gives users answers from the web using machine learning. We had a little chat with him.

Question: What is ChatGPT?

Answer: ChatGPT is a computer model developed by OpenAI to have conversations with humans. It is particularly good at answering questions and carrying on conversations, having been trained on large amounts of text.

Question: What kind of texts was ChatGPT trained with?

Answer: ChatGPT has been trained with texts such as news articles, books, conversations and other documents from the Internet.

Question: Please write a two-sentence summary of “George Orwell: 1984”.

Answer: “1984” by George Orwell is a dystopia in which a totalitarian government controls every aspect of its citizens’ lives. The protagonist, Winston Smith, works for the government but rebels against it and meets a woman named Julia, but is eventually captured and “reprogrammed.”

Question: Does ChatGPT have an answer for everything?

Answer: No, ChatGPT does not have an answer for everything. It is a computer model and can sometimes give wrong or inaccurate answers, especially to strange or unknown questions. It is important to check ChatGPT’s responses and use them with caution.

Question: What do children and teenagers do with ChatGPT?

Answer: Children and teenagers can talk to ChatGPT and ask it questions as they would with a friend or an online search engine. ChatGPT can help them find answers to questions that interest them. Some children also use it to improve their communication skills. It is important that children and young people learn how to use technology safely and responsibly, including ChatGPT.

What fascinates children/youth about it?

ChatGPT is an advanced voice AI that can do more than traditional search engines and voice assistants. It can write original texts, carry on fluent conversations, translate texts into other languages, and perform complex tasks. It can be fascinating to see how quickly and straightforwardly replies and interesting and entertaining information is delivered. Some children and young people also simply enjoy a conversation with a virtual counterpart or unexpected answers. Also, the technology behind ChatGPT can be impressive and interactions with an AI exciting. This supports children and young people in their self-exploration and promotes creativity and linguistic skills.

What can be problematic about the offer?

  • Inappropriate content: Children and young people may find inappropriate or dangerous content on the platform.
  • Incorrect information: Chatbots are only as good as their programming and can provide incorrect or inaccurate answers.
  • No human interaction: the chat program is not a real human. It cannot provide the same kind of emotional support and understanding that children and youth expect from people.
  • Privacy: Children and teenagers can put their personal data at risk when communicating via ChatGPT.
  • Outdated state of knowledge: The state of knowledge of AI currently only extends to the year 2021.

What does the provider think?

According to OpenAI, children and young people should be protected as follows:

  • Content filtering: ChatGPT does not use inappropriate, vulgar or offensive words.
  • Monitoring of conversations: OpenAI pays attention to what is discussed with ChatGPT. Inappropriate questions may not be able to answer or the answer may be limited.
  • Education: OpenAI consistently encourages in its responses to think critically and to be careful to verify information from the ChatGPT with other sources.

What should parents pay attention to?

Explain to your child that not everything the chat program says is true or correct. ChatGPT has been trained with texts, and therefore only knows what it has seen. It can make mistakes. Make sure your child verifies the information they receive with other sources. It’s best to try this out together and explain to him how to deal with disinformation.

The chatbot can assist with school-related tasks. For example, he can describe something in simple words. ChatGPT should not do homework for your child. Explain to your child that ChatGPT is a tool and not a perfect source. ChatGPT cannot think.

Stay in conversation with your child and educate them about dangerous content online. The chatbot has also been trained with texts that may be inappropriate for your child. Work out boundaries and rules for use together.

You and your child should not submit any personal information. Encourage your child to let you know if there is a problem. Make sure your child understands how to protect his or her privacy.

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