What do young readers think about having a machine to do tasks for them? A discussion at the Young Readers' Club
"Google is dead as ChatGPT is here," said one of the young readers soon after we gathered one evening. That statement led to the question, "What is ChatGPT?" and later to the concept of artificial intelligence and more specifically robots. The members of the Young Readers' Club are enthusiastic readers in the 8-11 age group. Most of them hadn't heard of the terms ChatGPT or artificial intelligence but were very familiar with the concept of robots.
Every reader visualized the robot as human like and after a point decided to even experiment with images inspired by aliens!
When asked the question, "If you had a robot what would you like it to do?" the responses were very interesting. They ranged from basic stuff such as "clean up my room" to fantasy even, "Enable me to teleport anywhere I want to go."
The teleporting idea got a lot of attention as possible pitfalls emerged. The robot shouldn't teleport itself elsewhere and lead the user to be hunting it down. Perhaps it can have a shape changing ability and the user can choose the shape the teleporting robot could have, so on and so forth.
These may sound like imaginative ideas that probably seem unrealistic today. AI itself when first thought of might have felt so unrealistic. Turning off a light switch years ago meant, physically going to turn it off. Today AI can do it as per the user's command. Sure, there could be downsides. But the fact remains that imagination continues to remain the key to progress. It would be interesting to wait and watch what these young and enthusiastic readers grow up to achieve. Until, then all that we can do is be in awe of their ability to think and imagine something that currently may be impossible.
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Both weekday and weekend batches are available at the Young Readers' Club. While this program is for the 8-11 age group, the Young Writers' Club program for the 12-14 age group offers a weekly platform to read and discuss curated articles from the news, observe writing approaches and practise one's writing skills.
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