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Algorithms, AI, and awareness: conversations with young Canadians about artificial intelligence and privacy





Project Leader(s)

Kara Brisson-Boivin


MediaSmarts conducted a qualitative research project that combined game-based learning with discussion to gain insight into how young Canadians understand the relationship between artificial intelligence (AI), algorithms, privacy, and data protection.

MediaSmarts facilitated eight online focus groups with 22 participants ages 13 to 17. Participants played #ForYou, a game prototype designed by MediaSmarts for this research project. The card-based pattern-matching game is intended to help children and youth learn more about artificial intelligence, algorithms, online privacy, and data security. A scaffolded learning experience allowed for in-depth discussions with participants after each of the three phases of gameplay.

The key findings from these focus groups, along with examples of the game prototype, were highlighted in the project’s final report. The findings highlight that while youth understand and appreciate the benefits of recommendation algorithms, they are troubled by algorithmic data collection and data sharing practices. This research is a call for more algorithmic literacy tools and resources that will give youth the knowledge they need to protect themselves and their information in digital spaces.

Project deliverables are available in the following language(s)



OPC Funded Project

This project received funding support through the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada’s Contributions Program. The opinions expressed in the summary and report(s) are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. Summaries have been provided by the project authors. Please note that the projects appear in their language of origin.

Contact Information

Kara Brisson-Boivin
Director of Research
205 Catherine Street, Suite 100
Ottawa, ON K2P 1C3
Telephone: (613) 224-7721, ext. 229

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