Jake LaCaze

Parenting in the age of AI

My son and I were walking the dogs recently when somehow the topic of AI came up.

When you’re preparing to become a parent, so many fears enter your thoughts. How am I going to keep from screwing this little person up, and help him or her become a fully-functioning adult? How do I prepare this child for all the evils and threats of the world? How am I going to have THE TALK when the time comes?

Parents don’t typically wonder how they’re going to teach their kids about AI. Yet I found myself needing an answer for this concern as my son and I were trying to figure out if our little pooch Rio was just peeing, or if I was going to be on poop cleanup duty. Life comes at you in strange ways.

My first instinct told me to warn my son of the risks of blindly trusting generative AI, particularly large language models. So, I told him about the attorney who got caught referencing bogus court cases thanks to hallucinations from ChatGPT1.

I also told him about my own experiences with ChatGPT’s hallucinations. I once asked ChatGPT some questions about a then current employer. ChatGPT claimed the company had two offices in Europe, neither of which existed. This misinformation isn’t the worst part. The more concerning fact is that ChatGPT went on to say that one office focused on marketing while the other focused on research and development. ChatGPT made up an elaborate story for something it knew nothing about.

Perhaps inspired by iA’s approach to generative AI2, I knew I’d be doing my son a disservice if I simply told him not to use AI. Our children don’t grow up in a bubble. Unfortunately, the outside world determines the norms they must navigate through. So, to some degree, we must teach our children to assimilate. Whether I like it or not, AI will be a big part of my son’s future, so he must learn how to navigate the AI waters.

For parents, there are many fears for our children growing up in the age of AI. But there are also opportunities. Time is on children’s side, as they can prepare for living in a world with AI and be ready to hit the ground running come time to enter the workforce.

We parents must instead find our footing in the quicksand. The least we can do is make sure our children don’t have to do the same.

Jake LaCaze thinks that being a parent may be the scariest thing one can do.

  1. Lawyer Used ChatGPT In Court—And Cited Fake Cases. A Judge Is Considering Sanctions on Forbes ↩︎

  2. Is iA’s approach to generative AI the right one? on jakelacaze.com ↩︎