AI, the benefits and the hidden dangers

As I sought to extend my knowledge on how we should educate our current and future students two articles in my reading have resonated with me. The first is Centaurs and Cyborgs on the Jagged Frontier by Ethan Mollick. I am not surprised that in the testing the consultants who used AI came out ahead using varying means of measurement, I am particularly intrigued with the observation that “When AI is good humans have no reason to work hard or pay attention. They let AI take over”. He refers to this as “falling asleep at the wheel”. This, I believe, is one of the inherent risks if the integration of AI in the school space is not monitored and guided. Students will become totally dependent on technology, and this will impact negatively their own creative thinking.  So, as we embrace the integration of AI in the education system the role of the teacher is not diminished as we must guide the extent of the dependency by our students so their individual creativity is not suppressed.

The second article ‘How Can We Best Prepare Students for a Rapidly Changing World’? By Burton Granofsky, the author seeks to explore anticipated changes in the education landscape in the next 5 – 20 years with the rapid and continuous changes in technology. The recognition that data literacy and engineering were highlighted as well as STEM–focused careers.  Of note is the suggestion that educators should engage in externships.  This led me to wonder how many educators have ever considered this or for that matter how many administrators would be willing to include this as an option when professional development is being planned?

Have you ever engaged in externship?

3 thoughts on “AI, the benefits and the hidden dangers

  1. Hi George,
    I love the idea of externships – and I have completed a few in my division as well. My favourite experience was shadowing one of my division’s learning consultants (as this is the job I would like to have after I finish my Masters). It was a worthwhile experience because it showed exactly what the job entails – the good and the not-so-good. I would love to see externships further provided to students as young as grades 6 and 7, to help steer their future career aspirations in a realistic way. Hopefully, this will become more commonplace in the future.

  2. One of my principle difficulties with A.I. is that we have no way of predicting its unintended consequences. Technologies always have primary, secondary, and tertiary effects. We are currently dealing with the primary effects – academic dishonesty and plagiarism. Like any other new technology attempts to restrict access will ultimately fail and a new paradigm within classrooms will emerge. What keeps me up at night is the secondary and tertiary effects. What will the long term effects of A.I. have on schools, students, and society as a whole? What will the economic and employment implications be? Our track record of making predictions in the technology space is spotty to say the least. Teachers are going to have to pivot and adapt once again, a prospect that makes me feel quite tired.

  3. I agree that we need to think critically about technology and its implications for education and for society. However, I believe that it is our responsibility as educators to use new technology, like AI. Some of my most creative and engaged colleagues are using AI daily to bump up their practices and productivity. They are not being lazy…in fact quite the opposite. They are being thorough and thoughtful. How can we teach students to use these tools to enhance their learning and push themselves to new creative limits? How can we encourage them to use these tools to cross-reference their own thinking and to kick-start new ideas?
    As I was working on my video assignment this week, I was trying to imagine how I could have done it in a time before Google, Internet databases and creation tools. I couldn’t have, so I guess I have become dependent on the technology. But this doesn’t make it a bad thing. Thanks to new technologies, we have access to more information and more intuitive tools. This hasn’t made me lazy. It’s just helped me up my game!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *