AI Is Telling Bedtime Stories to Your Kids Now

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The problem with Bluey is there’s not enough of it. Even with 151 seven-minute-long episodes of the popular children’s animated show out there, parents of toddlers still desperately wait for Australia’s Ludo Studio to release another season. The only way to get more Bluey more quickly is if they create their own stories starring the Brisbane-based family of blue heeler dogs.

Luke Warner did this—with generative AI. The London-based developer and father used OpenAI’s latest tool, customizable bots called GPTs, to create a story generator for his young daughter. The bot, which he calls Bluey-GPT, begins each session by asking people their name, age, and a bit about their day, then churns out personalized tales starring Bluey and her sister Bingo. “It names her school, the area she lives in, and talks about the fact it’s cold outside,” Warner says. “It makes it more real and engaging.”

The main version of ChatGPT has, since its launch last year, been able to write a children’s story, but GPTs allow parents—or anyone, really—to constrain the topic and start with specific prompts, such as a child’s name. This means anyone can generate personalized stories starring their kid and their favorite character—meaning no one needs to wait for Ludo to drop fresh content.

That said, the stories churned out by AI aren’t anywhere as good as the show itself, and raise legal and ethical concerns. At the moment, OpenAI’s GPTs are only available to those with a Plus or Enterprise account. The company has suggested they may be rolled out to other users, but as custom agents are believed to be one of the concerns that led to the company’s recent board-level drama, and given that researchers have flagged privacy concerns with GPTs, that release could be a ways out. (OpenAI has yet to reply to requests for comment for this story.)

When Warner built his GPT at the beginning of November, he’d made it with the intention of putting it up on the GPT Store that OpenAI had in the works. That never came to pass. Just five days after he advertised Bluey-GPT on Instagram, he got a takedown notice from OpenAI, which disabled public sharing of the GPT. Warner knew using Bluey as the basis for his GPT would be fraught, so he wasn’t surprised. Trademarked names and images are almost always a no-go, but the laws around stories “written” by AI are murky—and Warner’s Bluey bedtime stories are just the beginning.

Unpacking which laws apply isn’t simple: Warner is based in the UK, OpenAI is in the US, and Ludo is in Australia. Fictional characters can be protected by copyright in the UK and the US, but it’s more complicated in Australia, where simply naming a character may not be an infringement without including further elements from the work.

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