How to Use A.I. for Family Time

How to Use A.I. for Family Time

As always, to play it safe, double check the recipes to make sure your bot isn’t hallucinating.

Let’s move on to gift giving — a talent that some of us possess more than others. There are several A.I. tools that aim to make selecting a gift easier, including a website that comes up with gift ideas based on someone’s Instagram profile.

I preferred DreamGift, which uses a chatbot to ask you a series of questions about your gift recipient’s age, gender, interests and hobbies, along with how much you’re willing to spend, and automatically provides ideas and links to order the items online. (My wife confessed that she liked some of the bot’s gift suggestions, which included an indoor herb-growing kit, more than some of the gifts I’d given her over the years. Ouch.)

If you prefer to use a chatbot, that will work, too. Bing and Bard, which are connected to search engines, are powerful shopping assistants. The trick to getting bespoke recommendations is to share voluminous details about your budget and the people you’re shopping for.

Let’s end with something more creative. You can use A.I. to create a customized bedtime story or even your own hard-copy children’s book.

Give a chatbot like ChatGPT or Bard a detailed prompt that includes your child’s preferred storytelling style, any details you’d like to include and the situation that you want the story to address. Here’s a prompt I wrote for a hypothetical child who is unhappy about moving to a new home. I asked it to involve some familiar characters:

Act as a children’s book writer, mimicking “Frog and Toad.” My kid is going through a rough time — we are moving to a new home and changing schools. Write a story to help him process that. Incorporate our dogs, Max and Mochi the corgis, as characters.

The chatbot generated a heartfelt story about Max and Mochi, a pair of furry siblings. They enjoyed playing in the park and were sad to move to a new home. But they supported each other and eventually went to a new school, where they made new friends: Bella the sprightly Beagle and Charlie the cheeky Chihuahua. Everything worked out in the end.

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