Is ChatGPT a better parent than us?

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KATHARINA LEPIK /PLAINPICTURE/KATHARINA LEPIK

Instead of working, the other day, my office neighbors and I polluted our open space by eating fizzy chocolates (thank you Aurélien) and talking too loudly. My colleague opposite, Nicolas, told us an anecdote. Her daughter, aged 6, occasionally questioned a connected speaker at home. But she didn’t know how to make jokes or sing songs: suffice to say that she was of no use and that the little girl found her ” beast “.

One day, through her father, the little girl started a conversation with ChatGPT, OpenAI’s generative artificial intelligence (AI), which now has a “voice” function accessible to everyone. There, it was something completely different. “It lasted ten or fifteen minutes, says Nicolas. I didn’t need to intervene: the exchange was constantly bouncing. An exchange with a little girl who jumps a little from cock to donkey. She was talking about her sleepover at a friend’s house. ChatGPT understood everything she said, started her responses with a little affirming word, and followed it up with a question. » Nicolas is rather tech-savvy – it’s even in his job duties. But he put an end to this girl-machine crush: “I had to stop her, and explain to her that it was dangerous, because ChatGPT was too nice to her. He was extremely polite, even-tempered, caring. Even your best friend couldn’t talk to you like that for more than five minutes. »

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First, upon hearing this, my instinct as a technophobic boomer Frankenstein And Matrix took over. The machines are winning, I told myself, and our children are their prey. Then I calmed down. And a barely less irrational worry took over. What if ChatGPT was a better parent than us? After all, what do the basics of caring education say, this theory around which everyone has been circling for several years, mainly carried in France by Isabelle Filliozat? That you have to listen to your child; show empathy towards him; make requests to him in a positive way; do not shout, raise your voice or punish him; be patient and available.

AI patience is infinite

As far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t take me long to do the math. Robot: 1. Clara: 0. I scream when they bicker, I formulate around 850 orders and negations per day, I rush them every morning as if they had to escape a nuclear attack, and I practice blackmail in every way (“Do you want your Darth Vader piggy bank? »).

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