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Bridging Worlds: the Intersection between AI and Youth Issues

16 April 2024

The impact of artificial intelligence (AI) will continue to gain significant, if not tremendous, momentum in the upcoming years. Today, we're delighted to engage in a conversation with Stefanie G. Efstathiou, a valued member of our Youth Committee, to discuss the intersection of AI and youth issues. Stefanie boasts a diverse array of roles, including being a lawyer qualified in Germany and Greece, a domain name arbitrator, a PhD candidate on AI and dispute resolution, a young ICCA Representative, and co-Founder of Greece VYAP. With her varied experience and continuous interactions with the young generation, Stefanie is equipped to analyse both the opportunities AI offers to young people and the considerations that warrant our attention.


This blog post has not been prepared by AI... or has it? Stefanie, considering the rapid advancement of AI, would we be able to tell the difference as it advances?

The answer at this moment of the AI evolution would be negative. However, in the era of rapid technological advancement, AI has emerged as a transformative force with profound implications for our societies, economies, and particularly, our youth. The potential of AI to revolutionize industries, improve efficiency, and enhance quality of life is undeniable. 

And it is also marketed everywhere, as we read news on AI and its emerging power to revolutionize different sectors, such as construction, mining, automotive etc. However, alongside these remarkable advancements, we must also address the challenges and responsibilities that arise, especially concerning the younger generations.


In what ways do you believe AI has the potential to empower and educate young people?

AI presents significant opportunities for youth empowerment and education. It has the capability to democratize access to knowledge, enhance personalized learning experiences, and equip young people with the skills needed for the future job market. 

Initiatives that promote AI literacy and skills development among youth are critical in ensuring they are not just consumers of the new technology, but active contributors and innovators.


Could you elaborate on some of the concerns that arise in the intersection of AI and youth?

As we integrate AI deeper into the society, we must confront ethical and social considerations. One major concern is the impact of AI on employment and the future of work for youth. 

While AI has the potential to create new jobs and industries, it also poses challenges such as automation-driven job displacement. It is imperative that we prepare the younger generations but also ourselves for this evolving landscape by fostering adaptable skill sets and promoting lifelong learning. In the framework of my PhD, I am fortunate to have contact with undergraduate students that often express the question whether they should still be studying (traditionally taught classes without innovative factors) if the professional landscape will change drastically in some years.These concerns are real and should be addressed.


What steps can stakeholders take to ensure fair access to AI technologies and digital infrastructure among young people?

It's imperative to acknowledge and work towards addressing the digital divide among youth. Access to AI technologies and digital infrastructure should be equitable, regardless of socioeconomic background or geographic location. Bridging this gap is essential to prevent further marginalization of disadvantaged youth. This might even be a chance to rewrite human history and create a worldwide level playing field for the future.

In conclusion, the journey towards harnessing the transformative power of AI while safeguarding the interests of the younger generation requires collaborative efforts from governments, industry leaders, educators, and civil society. It is incumbent upon all of us to nurture next generations of digitally literate, ethically conscious, and resilient individuals who can thrive in the AI-driven future.