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The AI Revolution: What's The Deal With Kids And AI Chatbots?

A teen looks at his phone with an AI robot yells at him through a megaphone.

Let’s be honest. If you haven’t heard of the swirling anxieties about kids and AI chatbots like ChatGPT in our schools, you’ve probably been living under a rock. Artificial intelligence is turning our world upside down and we have to adapt at lightning speed to what these changes mean. But what about AI technology that exists outside our schools, the kind that lives on our kids' smartphones?

AI Chatbots Are Probably Your Kid’s New Fascination.

If you’ve looked at the news for more than a few minutes, you know that social media and its effects on kids is a hot topic. Just throw a virtual rock, and you’ll hit an article warning about the dangers of Snapchat, Instagram, Discord, YouTube, TikTok, and more. But here’s the thing that’s NOT being talked about – how AI chatbots snare our kids.

Don’t believe us? Get ready for some facts about the 9 top downloaded apps in December 2023. 

The top apps downloaded on the Aqua One in December 2023 are displayed against a smartphone

So, what are you supposed to do?


1) Educate yourself about why kids love AI chatbots and what ones are out there.

Here’s the truth. You can’t combat a problem you know nothing about. When we say you need to educate yourself about AI-powered chatbots, we’re not talking about ChatGPT here. This technology can pose far more danger than your kid using it to write their latest homework assignment.

Now, here’s an important question - why are our kids drawn to AI chatbots in the first place? Well, there's not one right answer. Take it from the kids themselves:

6 message bubbles say why kids like AI chatbots


So you see, there isn't one reason why kids use artificial intelligence. While talking to a chatbot isn't necessarily wrong, the danger lies in the design of these apps. They cater to your kid's thoughts and emotions, making them more alluring than a human friend who might push or challenge them. The implications of this are powerful. At a crucial time in your kid’s life, when they’re beginning to learn about romantic and platonic relationships, their key instructor could be a piece of code designed to make them addicted.

We decided to see for ourselves what kinds of AI chatbots kids could download so we hopped on the Google Play store and typed in “AI Chat” and “AI Fantasy.” Dozens of apps popped up promising human-like conversation with virtual best friends or simulated lovers. Bonus – most of these apps were rated Teen or Mature, so they’re free to expose your kid to explicit material.

AI Fantasy Chatbot Search Results


Now that we understand the importance of this threat to our kids, it’s time to spring into action.


2) Sit down with your kid and educate them about the dangers of AI chatbots.

It doesn’t matter whether your kid has experience with AI chatbots yet or not (emphasis on “yet”!). As artificial intelligence continues to change the world, your kid will bump into it. We pinky promise that!

If you haven’t prepared them for what they’ll encounter in the AI chatbots they’re currently using or plan to use, you’re putting them at a huge disadvantage. Artificial intelligence blurs the lines between reality and fiction because a chatbot is trained to sound like a real person. Your kid could easily forget they’re interacting with a program. Even more importantly, the chatbot's purpose is to fulfill your kid's fantasies of what friendships or romantic partnerships should look like.

With that in mind, take your kids aside and have an honest conversation.

  • Explain to them that AI chatbots give them a blurred and romanticized version of reality.

  • Warn them of the dangers of being exposed to inappropriate content.

  • Caution them against trusting these programs with sensitive data, including photos or videos.

  • Answer all their questions so you satisfy their natural curiosity about these apps.

Once you’ve had this conversation with your kids, it’s time to move on to the next step.


3) The reality of dealing with AI chatbots: monitor with the Aqua One.

Let’s face it. We can have the most sincere heart-to-heart conversations with our kids, but sometimes, the message still fails to get across. Or, our kids decide to go ahead and take the risk we cautioned them against. Whatever the case, monitoring your kid's smartphone for AI chatbots is essential.

Now, listen. We're not encouraging you to sneak around, check your kid's phone and then ground them the moment you see an artificial intelligence bot. We designed an alternative to that – the Aqua One smartphone. It’s a fully functional smartphone for your kids with unlimited parental monitoring built in for you. No matter what your kid does on the phone, you can view it through instant replay on your Parent Dashboard.

But simply monitoring them ISN’T enough. The Aqua One smartphone isn’t the latest and greatest spyware. It’s designed to be a bridge between you and your kid so that regular and honest conversations can take place. Because you can see the interactions your kid has on their Aqua One, you can ditch the panic and have conversations that deepen your relationship. When you walk alongside them as they navigate the virtual world, you strip away the boundaries that normally exist between parents and kids once smartphones get involved.

So, are you ready to dive in with the Aqua One?

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