One parent’s experience using artificial intelligence as a family

Photo of Swazi Kaur, mum of two boys.

Swazi Kaur is a single parent living in Croydon with her two sons, aged 10 and 13. She is a radio presenter and equality officer.

See how her family uses artificial intelligence (AI) in their day-to-day life, and see her advice on keeping children safe.

How do you use AI in daily life?

Like many parents, Swazi Kaur didn’t think that AI was a big part of family life with her two sons. However, once she looked more closely, she was surprised to find how many of the everyday technologies her children use incorporate AI technology.

“Things like Alexa and Siri, we use every day. But it’s also AI in apps like Calm for meditation and Duolingo for languages,” says Swazi.

The children use Alexa for daily questions about animals as well as for their homework. Alexa helps them to research questions or solve complex puzzles and sums.

Learn how to get the most out of voice assistant technology >>

In the evening, both children have used Calm and Alexa for relaxing meditations. “Both of my sons are neurodivergent and have special educational needs, so using these apps for end of day calm down time is really helpful, and they each have their own device in their bedroom,” says Swazi. “It gives them ownership of what they use it for.”

Using generative AI for school

Swazi’s eldest son uses ChatGPT to research essay topics online. “He can ask questions and use research to find information,” she says. “We have talked about the limitations of the technology, and that you still need to fact check information that you get on AI apps, and not just assume it’s correct.”

Overall, Swazi says that AI apps are helpful to support learning. For example, Duolingo has been a big help in supporting her son’s secondary school language lessons. To date, the school hasn’t provided any rules or guidance around AI, Swazi says, outside of the general internet policy. She says, “they don’t seem to have updated the policy to look at AI. It just focuses on appropriate sites and usage, but I will be speaking to school, because I think it’s important.”

Suggestions to keep kids safe

Currently, neither boy uses AI in the classroom, which Swazi finds reassuring. “We use parental controls to make sure they’re looking at age-appropriate content, and I keep a watchful eye on what they’re accessing.”

If the boys see something inappropriate, Swazi talks to the boys. “I don’t stand over them as they get older, but those conversations are how I keep them safe. The advice I’d give is to find out how to use settings on phones and devices to ensure you have parental controls, downtime limits and limits on things like apps they can use.”

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