The rapid development of technology forces societies to adapt quickly to evolving technologies and to re-evaluate and reflect on the moral, ethical and legal implications. Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) will proliferate as quickly as Apps have done in the past decade throughout our society.
While popular social theories will initially polarise attitudes between our negative bias and hope, a balance will be achieved as it has and is for the advent of past significant technological advancements in education.
A.I. has the potential to assist neurodiverse students in learning significantly. A.I. is non-judgmental and you can ask a million questions without fear of being judged. Furthermore, it can explain complex concepts in small achievable chunks of information, synthesising and condensing information at a pace that suits the learner.
Task initiation, prioritisation skills and anxiety can prevent students from expressing and demonstrating all a student’s ideas and learning. A.I. such as ChatGPT and Jasper will be of assistance in helping students break through this barrier and get started on assessments and assignments.
The most significant shift for educators will be the shift from educators asking the questions to encouraging students to ask better questions, a step towards rethinking the whole teacher/student paradigm, the child-adult relationship. It will allow child-centred inquiry.
Will A.I. be misused just as surely as calculators were used to write inappropriate words when held upside down? That’s the nature of curious play and enquiry and students pushing boundaries. The checks and balances will be created to ensure this advancement is in line with our values and community standards. There does need to be a focus on understanding aspects of A.I in order for it to be a beneficial tool for educational purposes.
A.I. is as confidently wrong as it is confidently correct about information. ChatGPT creates good enough copy. A.I. products will be much better in future versions and it will harder to identify the difference between A.I and human-generated documents, which will be an issue if educators do not adapt to focus on questions rather than answers. A.I. has the potential, as did calculators, to free us of burdensome calculations and allow, perhaps empower us, to ask more insightful questions. Freeing our minds to ask more significant questions that only humans can ask. A.I. does not ask the questions that insightful, sensitive, curious, insightful humans have the potential to ask.
Finally, A. I. such as ChatGPT has only read 20% of the Internet and it is established that internet content is bigoted and racist. Has it read academic research, which would influence its understanding and the answers it provides? Has that information had the rigour of peer review or assessment? No. Its limitations and applications will need to be understood, and it is part of our future. We must adapt to use it to our advantage to free our minds to ask more beautiful questions.
‘One good question can give rise to several layers of answers, can inspire decades-long searches for solutions, can generate whole new fields of inquiry and can prompt changes in entrenched thinking” Stuart Firestein