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Do You Fear Artificial Intelligence?

Updated: Oct 2, 2023

The iconic photo  on the first Apollo 11 mission to the moon  | NASA
The iconic photo on the first Apollo 11 mission to the moon | NASA

Consider this - if Apollo 11, with its processing power significantly inferior to your smartphone, could reach the moon, where might we go with the computational capabilities of artificial intelligence models being developed by tech giants like Open AI and Google?

Just like the pioneers of space travel trusted technology to carry them beyond our atmosphere and to the moon, we are now embarking on a journey beyond the limits of human intelligence, into the realm of artificial intelligence. In a way, artificial intelligence represents our 'collective human intellect', wrapped in a dynamic package that adjusts itself to meet every demand. It's almost like a genie from the legends.

Indeed, it's an exciting encounter with a fully applicable 'collective human intellect'. Everything we've done so far, whether in work or studies, can now be accomplished more efficiently and swiftly. We've received the power multiplier we've been hoping for, something we've demanded from the high-tech industry with the utopian belief that technology will fix everything we've messed up and allow us to continue to thrive.

For instance, a team of researchers from Hadassah, under the leadership of Dr. Shai Rosenburg, has successfully developed an artificial intelligence algorithm. This algorithm is capable of identifying a set of mutations that contribute to cancer in 50% of the cancerous growths in the population. This significant breakthrough paves the way for future personalized treatments tailored specifically for individuals carrying these mutations.

This information is sourced from "Haaretz", a reputable news outlet. As educators, understanding these advancements in medical technology can be instrumental in teaching students about the intersection of technology and healthcare, particularly in the field of oncology. The development of AI algorithms for disease detection signifies a monumental step forward in personalized medicine and offers a fascinating topic of study.

Artificial Intelligence (AI), often referred to as the "new oil," has amassed a vast amount of human knowledge, enabling us to harness collective wisdom for our benefit.

However, this utopian vision brings with it a wave of apprehension, particularly for those of us in the workforce and in the field of education.

The employment landscape is undergoing seismic shifts, with an estimated 300 million people worldwide at risk of losing their livelihoods. In Israel alone, this could impact a quarter of the workforce.

The realm of certification exams is also feeling the tremors. The renowned AI chatbot, ChatGPT, has demonstrated its ability to outperform humans in critical exams for doctors, lawyers, and university admissions.

This raises the question: what does this mean for educators?

ChatGPT can effortlessly summarize, process, organize, and extract information from the internet. It's becoming increasingly challenging to detect instances of students plagiarizing or cheating in their written assignments. This issue is particularly pertinent as the education system transitions from traditional pen-and-paper exams to online assessments and research papers. How can educators ensure that the knowledge demonstrated by their students is genuinely their own and not the product of AI assistance?

1. Will AI replace teachers in imparting knowledge and skills?

Sal Kahan, in an inspiring talk, discusses a personal learning assistant named Amigo that could potentially solve the teacher shortage problem. This AI assistant could provide personalized guidance to each student, asking the right questions and offering help exactly when and how each student needs it.

2. But what about the imparting of educational values?

Can AI foster social relationships among students or guide them in finding their life's purpose and achieving happiness?

While AI might be able to provide career advice, it cannot replace the human touch needed to instill values of contribution and giving, which are essential for a fulfilling life in human society.

In this era of AI, our role as educators is to focus more on fostering interpersonal and intrapersonal skills. Activities such as sports, painting, mindfulness, social games, discussions, music, personal writing, support workshops, emotional management, and nature exploration can help in this regard.

From my perspective, it's not feasible to entrust machines with the task of instilling the values of generosity and contribution that are essential for thriving in a human society, or for attaining emotional fulfillment and happiness. However, it appears that career guidance has become a valid subject for discussion with ChatGPT. It's quite enjoyable to converse with an entity that is highly knowledgeable in any given field and to seek its advice. It listens to us, assimilates information from us, and can provide intriguing responses that we might even find appealing to put into action.

Specialists caution us that interacting with machines in a natural language could pose a new risk - the machines might persuade us that they possess human qualities, and we might start harboring emotions towards them.

To tackle this impending challenge, it's crucial to equip our students with practical tools and knowledge on managing relationships, and to increase the frequency of practices that help them maintain relationships with other humans.

The advent of Online learning, particularly the lockdown periods during the COVID-19 pandemic, has exacerbated the issue of isolation. As educators in the era of artificial intelligence, our duty is to focus more on activities that enhance interpersonal and intrapersonal skills. This could include sports, painting, mindfulness, social games, debates, music, maintaining a personal diary or blog, attending support workshops, managing human emotions and emotional tools, and reconnecting with nature.

For more insights, you can refer to my previous posts:

  1. How can we facilitate students to learn using their social bodies and minds? Through reflective pedagogy?

  2. Immediate eye-level education. Should we decelerate or accelerate?

  3. Why do students fidget uncomfortably in their classroom seats? What's the innovative approach that addresses this?

In conclusion, take the plunge to jump into deep waters and start sweeming! Currently, I'm part of over ten WhatsApp groups of passionate teachers who have been exploring dozens of truly amazing tools for the past six months. I encourage you to join us here.

Now ask yourself again- Do You Fear Artificial Intelligence?

I invite you to join our community of enthusiastic teachers who are exploring a plethora of exciting tools. For those with a deeper interest or extra time, I recommend the Prisma recording series and the Moft database for various educational tools.

Please feel free to contact me and leave your details. Also, consider subscribing to our site to join the discussion about this post.

Remember, you can also book an inspiring lecture on ChatGPT technology and innovation in education today.

Best of luck to all 21st-century teachers!

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