Original author and publication date: Sergey Karayev – May 14, 2020
Summary: Faced with an unprecedented crisis of having to move all instruction online in a matter of weeks, everyone is figuring out the new playbook for teaching in the 21st century. Here is artificial intelligence, and education — AI won’t fix education, but it can help
Futurizonte Editor’s Note: If we need AI to fix education, what that says about our own ability to fix education? Also, we don’t understand what AI is or does.
From the article:
Now more than ever, our teachers need help. Faced with an unprecedented crisis of having to move all instruction online in a matter of weeks, everyone is figuring out the new playbook for teaching in the 21st century. Here is artificial intelligence, and education — AI won’t fix education, but it can help.
One of the topics discussed, alongside video chats, online quizzes, and remote attendance is artificial intelligence. Indeed, it’s time to take a closer look at how AI can be helpful to our instructors today. But, the problem is that very few people understand AI.
Do you understand AI?
I do not mean that very few people understand the computer languages and algorithms that drive artificial intelligence, although that’s true for many. I mean that very few people understand the pattern of what “artificial intelligence” means to human beings in a macro sense.
Not having an understanding of something as crucial to the future as artificial intelligence has consequences. Those consequences will cross all of the business sectors, investment, technology, media, and will primarily be apparent when those sectors converge in a hype cycle or are thrust into the unknown.
We think AI is a solid thing.
We tend to think AI is a solid thing like a concrete construction. We believe that things are either AI or they are not AI. But history demonstrates that’s not how it works. Depending on where we are on any given day, artificial intelligence is a moving target.
Just having passed the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing, it’s helpful to remember that at that time, the best minds in the world were working on the space effort. We thought that machines doing the heavy trigonometry and calculus required for guiding rockets would have to be “artificially intelligent.”
Collectively, we thought, “this math is hard, you have to be very intelligent to do it,” so we surmised that machines doing this work were intelligent, thinking machines.
We stopped thinking of them as being artificially intelligent once computers did fancy math faster and better than humans. Humans decided that what computers did was just advanced number crunching, and we moved the goal post.
In the 1970s and 1980s, many smart people believed a computer couldn’t master the strategic and creative thinking in chess. We used to believe that chess was the ultimate intelligent endeavor.
A computer that understood chess had to be intelligent. In the 1990s, computers began regularly beating the planet’s best chess masters. We accepted the fact then that intelligence didn’t win chess games. Computers dominated chess because they could cycle through many more potential moves far faster than any human.