Millennials and Gen Z have experienced technological advancements that their great grandparents would have considered science fiction.

From the birth of the iPhone to the introduction of self-driving cars, these generations have witnessed a rapid transformation in the way we interact with technology.

Now a new generation, known as Gen A, is set to experience an even more transformative technological era — one that is characterized by the rise of artificial intelligence (AI).

According to Bank of America Research analysts, led by equity strategist Martyn Briggs, the impact of AI on Gen A will be akin to an “iPhone moment, on steroids,” Fortune said in a recent report.

They argue that AI will not only reshape the business world and the global economy in the coming decades but also have a profound influence on an entire generation.

Gen A, defined as those born between 2012 and the mid-2020s, will grow up in a world where AI assistants are the norm, tailored to their specific needs and constantly evolving alongside them.

Timothy Papandreou, an advisor to Alphabet’s research and development organization, X, explained at a recent event that AI will lead to a transition from a generation of programmers to a generation of “perfect prompters.”

Gen A won’t need programming skills to utilize AI models; instead, they will learn to prompt these systems with simple text to achieve desired outcomes.

This could range from finding information for a school paper to composing professional emails.

“Children will now have an A.I. avatar shadow assistant or agent from birth. As they grow A.I. will grow with them and know everything it needs to know, and always be there as a mentor,” Papandreou said, arguing that Gen Z will be the “last generation to not grow up with AI.”

Gen A to Face New Challenges Characterized by AI

While Gen Z has grappled with issues such as anxiety and finding meaning in a world dominated by the internet and social media, Gen A will face a different set of challenges.

Their use of AI is likely to bring forth unforeseen mental health problems, the report said.

It noted that the integration of AI into every aspect of their lives will require careful consideration and regulation to prevent negative consequences.

Meanwhile, Bank of America’s analysts emphasized that younger generations are already embracing AI and see it in a favorable light.

According to Peter Diamandis, a futurist and co-founder of Singularity University, companies must fully utilize AI to survive in the coming decade.

For governments, the risks posed by AI are significant as Gen A comes of age.

Deepfakes, propaganda, and copyright issues are just a few of the concerns that need to be addressed through effective regulation.

Nell Watson, an AI ethicist and the president of the European Responsible Artificial Intelligence Office, suggests that a global framework for regulating AI is unlikely.

“Each region is targeting a ‘Goldilocks level’ of just right intervention but taking different approaches, from surveillance and control (China), national security/hardware restrictions (US), to privacy laws (EU),” she explained.

Watson emphasized the need for AI ethics and self-regulation by companies but cautions against overregulation due to “moral panic.”

How AI Could Transform Childhood For Gen A?

The introduction of AI models like GPT-4 and Claude marks a significant advancement in AI capabilities.

These models have the potential to reshape childhood experiences in ways that have not been fully explored.

In the future, every middle-class child is likely to grow up with a personalized AI assistant, much like having an imaginary friend, according to an analysis by American economist Tyler Cowen.

These AI companions will offer education, entertainment, and various other services, allowing children to learn faster and more effectively, Cowen said.

He added that parents will have the ability to customize the AI services based on their preferences, creating a tailored learning experience for their children.

There may be concerns about allowing children to become attached to AI, but the advantages appear to outweigh the drawbacks.

Furthermore, parents will have control over the connection and can turn it off at any time.

The use of AI companions can significantly enhance a child’s educational journey, offering opportunities that may otherwise be inaccessible.

“It is an open question how quickly schools will embrace these new methods of learning. At some point, however, they will become part of the curriculum,” Cowen wrote, adding:

“Competitive pressures will make parents reluctant to withhold AI from their kids. Even if the AIs are not present in the classroom, some kids will use them to help do their homework, gaining a big advantage, and the practice will likely spread.”

Teenagers may also benefit from AI, with some parents considering AI therapists as a viable option.

While this raises concerns about the possible spread of misinformation or exposure to inappropriate content, the convenience and accessibility of AI may outweigh these risks.

However, it’s crucial to consider the potential impact of AI on inequality, as it may further benefit wealthier and middle-class children.

One potential drawback of AI services for children is the possibility of them becoming overly attached and neglecting personal relationships.

Just as television became a ubiquitous presence in households, AI services could play a similar role in children’s lives.

Therefore, it is essential for parents to strike a balance and ensure that AI remains a tool to enhance, rather than replace, human interaction.

All in all, Gen A is set to grow up in a world where AI is an integral part of their daily lives and this technological revolution will shape their interactions and experiences in unprecedented ways.

While AI offers immense potential, it is crucial to navigate the challenges it presents, from mental health concerns to the need for effective regulation.

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