Common Sense Media Announces Framework for First-of-Its-Kind AI Ratings System

OpenAI and Khan Academy are among the first artificial intelligence companies to participate in a new ratings system to help families and policymakers make informed decisions about AI products.

Common Sense Media
Friday, September 15, 2023

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 15, 2023—Today, Common Sense Media, the nation's leading advocacy group for children and families, revealed a framework for its AI ratings and reviews system designed to assess the safety, transparency, ethical use, and impact of AI products.

"The public needs a trusted, independent third-party rating system to better understand the perils and possibilities of AI," said James P. Steyer, founder and CEO of Common Sense Media. "Time and again, tech companies have put profits before the well-being of families and our fundamental democratic norms. We have seen this before, with the emergence of social media and the subsequent failure to regulate those platforms. Quite simply, we must not make the same mistakes with AI, which will have even greater consequences for our children and broader society."

The framework for Common Sense Media's AI ratings and reviews was created with input from some of the world's leading experts in the field of artificial intelligence, with the goal of creating a "nutrition" label for each AI product. The ratings system aims to 1) evaluate products according to the context in which they are used, 2) provide clear information that does not require an understanding of the technologies themselves, and 3) illuminate areas of both opportunity and harm against a set of "Common Sense AI Principles." These principles include:

  1. Put People First: Does the product respect human rights and children's rights, as well as identity, integrity, and human dignity? Does it support human agency with human-in-the-loop and adults (parents, guardians, educators)-in-the-loop models?
  2. Promote Learning: Is the product centered on the needs of individual students (including linguistically diverse students and students with disabilities)? Is it aligned with content standards? Does it foster a love of learning?
  3. Prioritize Fairness: Does the product prioritize equitable sharing of the benefits of artificial intelligence, with a goal of eliminating unfair bias in development and use of AI systems?
  4. Help People Connect: Does the product foster meaningful human contact and interpersonal connection? It should not incite hatred against an individual or group, dehumanize individuals or groups, or employ racial, religious, misogynist, or other slurs and stereotypes that incite or promote hatred.
  5. Be Trustworthy: Does the product perpetuate misinformation or disinformation? Does it avoid contradicting well-established expert consensus and the promotion of theories that are demonstrably false or outdated?
  6. Defend Privacy: Does the product protect data? Does it comply with best practices related to data and privacy, and does it provide appropriate transparency and control over the use of data?
  7. Keep Kids and Teens Safe: Does the product protect children's safety, health, and well-being, regardless of whether the product is intended to be used by them?
  8. Be Transparent and Accountable: Does the product provide mechanisms for feedback, moderation tools for adults, or notification tools that flag potentially harmful content?

The ratings will also inform new legislative and regulatory efforts to keep kids safe online and to push for increased transparency from creators of these new products. "Lawmakers and regulators need an independent and highly respected third-party partner like Common Sense to ensure that they have trusted information to protect the public. We look forward to continuing to play this critical role with AI and other emerging technologies, just as we have done for years with the impact of media and other digital products," Steyer said.

To read more about the organization's guiding principles for AI and children, please see Common Sense Media's position paper, "AI and Our Kids: Common Sense Considerations and Guidance for Parents, Educators, and Policymakers," or visit

About Common Sense
Common Sense is the nation's leading nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in the 21st century. Learn more at

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