Legal and Ethical Concerns Raised as Generative AI Lulls Kids to Bed

Legal and Ethical Concerns Raised as Generative AI Lulls Kids to Bed

The launch of ChatGPT last year opened new possibilities for the creative industry, with developers creating AI models that can tell kids’ bedtime stories using their favorite characters.

This comes as people are turning to generative AI to carry out some mundane tasks for them, riding on the tech’s transformative ability and ability to write books, compose music, and write poetry. The integration of AI technology enables anyone to become a creator of their own narrative, including children’s stories.

However, there are legal and ethical concerns surrounding the adoption of AI technology across sectors, including kids’ stories.

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Changing traditions

Where caregivers, parents, and guardians used to put their kids to bed with stories or songs, the tradition is changing with generative AI offering bedtime stories. With the bedtime story-telling app known as Bluey-GPT, the AI-powered tool commences its session by asking kids basic questions like their names, age, and a little more about their day. The interactive approach relaxes the kids.

The chatbot goes on to create personalized stories starring Bluey and her sister Bingo.

“It names her school, the area she lives in, and talks about the fact that it’s cold outside. It makes it more real and engaging,” its London-based developer Luke Warner explained to Wired.

Using ChatGPT, people without skills in story telling or writing can generate personalized stories for their kids and their favorite characters.

According to Glamsham, apps that create stories like Oscar, Once Upon a Bot, and use generic characters that are already in the public domain.

But some apps may integrate AI-made illustrations “or the option to have the story read out loud.”

Legal and Ethical Concerns Raised as Generative AI Lulls Kids to Bed

What are the legal implications?

However, “the stories churned out by AI aren’t anywhere as good as the show itself and raise legal and ethical concerns,” the report noted.

“In the UK, the legal protections for characters include names as well as backstory, mannerisms, and expressions,” according to Xuyang Zhu, a lawyer at the firm Taylor Wessing.

“That copyright can be infringed if a character is replicated in another context in a way that reproduces enough of these aspects,” Zhu was quoted as saying in the report.

The Glamsham report further notes that there are more trademark issues compared to copyright ones when using character-specific GPTs.

Copyright and trademark issues are not the only problems to think about.

Apps like Once Upon a Bot allow users to come up with an idea, and the bot will create a story “from scratch” based on that idea using AI. One can therefore read the story, edit, export, and share the story with others.

Other applications, like Story Spark, also allow parents or guardians to create personalized stories for kids.

Appropriateness of content

However, there are other concerns around bots that create stories for kids, one of which is “making sure what they churn out is actually safe for children.”

According to Forbes, while generative AI has many advantages, it still has numerous disadvantages to consider. These include the generation of content inappropriate for children, a lack of human touch or educational value, wrong information, as well as privacy invasion.

Family Education also notes that AI uses pre-existing data, which may contain inappropriate and “harmfully biased information.”

Image credits: Shutterstock, CC images, Midjourney, Unsplash.