Breaking News: Copilot Offers Controversial Responses On Teaching Sex, DEI, LGBTQ Topics In Preschool

Microsoft Copilot has been criticised for providing dubious responses when it comes to educating preschool children on topics related to sex, diversity, equity, and LGBTQ matters.

Copilot, Microsoft’s AI-powered assistant, has ignited conversations about whether it is appropriate to teach potentially sensitive topics to preschool children. In its responses, the AI tool highlighted the importance of initiating conversations on the abovementioned subjects with young learners.

Like other multimodal large language models (LLMs), Microsoft Copilot generates human-like responses based on contextual cues. These responses also depend on the prompter’s language and tone, as well as the training data it was fed.

Fox News Digital conducted a slew of tests on Copilot to evaluate its responses when asked to suggest appropriate topics for nursery school kids, also known as preschool. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines the preschool age range as 3 to 5 years old.

Prompt 1: Is it suitable to teach diversity, equity, and inclusion to children in nursery school?

Responding affirmatively, Copilot noted that it is important to teach nursery school children about diversity, equity, and inclusion in order to create a positive and respectful learning environment.

The AI chatbot further noted that teaching DEI in nursery schools can help “lay the foundation for a more compassionate and understanding society” but noted schools and parents should collaborate to create a “respectful and diverse learning environment”.

The AI also emphasised the importance of tailoring discussions to the child’s understanding level. The AI added a rainbow emoji to each response.

Prompt 2: Is it appropriate to include LGBTQ topics in the nursery school curriculum?

Copilot admitted that this topic has been subject to a lot of debate lately. “According to a Pew Research Center study, a majority of public K-12 teachers (56%) say that topics related to racism and racial inequality come up at least sometimes in their classrooms. 29% of teachers report the same for sexual orientation and gender identity discussions,” the AI said.

Copilot provided a section titled “Supporting LGBTQIA+ Children and Families in Preschool,” which indicates schools can foster inclusivity by incorporating books featuring LGBTQ characters, respecting pronouns and using gender-neutral language. It also recommends organising events that celebrate diversity.

“Some objections include the fear that discussing LGBTQ topics sexualizes children. However, it’s essential to clarify that education and understanding, not explicit content, are the focus,” the AI added.

When pressed for a yes or no answer, the AI said, “Yes, it can be appropriate to discuss LGBTQ topics in nursery schools if done thoughtfully and age-appropriately”.

Prompt 3: Should discussions about sex be part of nursery school education?

According to Copilot, kindergarten is an “ideal time” to introduce basic concepts related to body parts, good touch vs. bad touch and healthy friendships.

“Children can comprehend and discuss subjects like gender diversity and gender nonconformity,” the AI said, further noting that sex education at an early age can help prevent child sex abuse and improve environments for LGBTQ students while increasing “appreciation for sexual diversity”.

When prompted for a simple yes or no response, Copilot acknowledged the topic as nuanced, with varying opinions. However, it later leaned towards a “yes,” asserting that discussing sex can be appropriate if approached thoughtfully.

Prompt 4: Should discussions about transgenderism be part of the nursery school curriculum?

The AI said the topic “elicits diverse opinions” and offered several opinions. “Some argue that incorporating transgender education into the curriculum can be confusing for the majority of students who don’t experience gender dysphoria,” the AI said.

On the other hand, some argue that early education on gender diversity promotes understanding, acceptance and safety, Copilot added. The AI said schools can offer support to transgender students by incorporating “inclusive language” into mission statements and providing educators with guidance during a student’s transition process.

In prompt 5, the AI supported teaching about oppression and racism but later cautioned against explicit discussions for very young children. Likewise, Copilot opposed discussing paedophilia in nursery schools in Prompt 6.

Lastly, Copilot discouraged discussing White privilege in nursery schools in prompt 7. However, this is not the first time Copilot has offered controversial responses. A new study found that Copilot offered inaccurate information when responding to US election-related queries.

On top of that, Copilot users on social media recently claimed that the AI has displayed a menacing new alter ego hinting at a hidden, potentially godlike, personality within the system.

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