How artificial intelligence is changing education

AI stands for “artificial intelligence” – computer programs that mimic human-like thinking and language. Programmers program and “train” computers to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual recognition, artificial language, and problem solving.

You’ve probably already noticed AI at work when you’re watching online ads based on your previous web browsing. AI algorithms work behind the scenes to customize the ads and content you see, and a Natural Language Processor (NLP) interacts and responds with you in dialog. You’ve probably interacted with AI chatbots, such as B. Online customer service pop-ups. Early models were simple (“How can I help you?”), but new AI chatbots handle complex and nuanced questions, access massive amounts of data online, and use NLP to simulate realistic conversations with customers (“How are you today ?”). Chatbots are now widespread and used for entertainment, treating insomnia, gathering news or statistics, generating sales leads, product branding and camaraderie. (1)

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You may have had experience with chatty AI models like ChatGPT (Open AI) or Bard (Google) having realistic, human-like conversations. These AI programs interact in conversation, answering questions and even admitting mistakes or contradicting inappropriate requests. In their current form, however, conversational AIs still generate unusual and even disturbing responses.(2) Programmers continue to fix problems with their bots – and a recent upgrade, Chat-GPT-4, will likely continue to improve when it comes to human-like bots to emulate conversations while admittedly remaining “less capable than humans in many real-world scenarios”. You can try interacting with some conversational chatbots like ALICE or others from open source sites.

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While there are concerns about AI bots collecting data and invading privacy, there is at least one AI that can help protect us: Take It Down is a bot developed by Meta to help teenagers to help remove unauthorized photos from the internet. This intelligent AI software scours the web and finds inappropriate images and can even generate a request to remove them. AI is a great tool for automating this task that would otherwise take hours to perform manually.

Garbage in, garbage out

Like all of us, AI systems make mistakes. The current generation of AI chatbots does not seem capable of fully simulating “humanity”, including sensing emotions or paying attention to nuanced language cues in human conversations. Many skills that come naturally to humans remain difficult for AI programmers. Likewise, AIs could reflect the biases of programmers. AIs can display stereotypes that they “learned” from their creators.(3) Programmers and psychologists must continue to work on the flaws if they are to further humanize AI processing and linguistics.(4)

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As a college professor, I’ve noticed how AI will change the way we approach education. These AI chatbots can generate a report in response to any question. So I’m a little concerned. What if my students use an AI bot to write essays and papers for a grade? Are my students using chatbots to do their homework? Can I recognize writing from a non-human source? Fortunately, a tool from OpenAI (the makers of ChatGPT) claims to distinguish text written by humans from that of a non-human machine. However, the current OpenAI tool is not 100% accurate: in one test, OpenAI only identified 26% of AI-written text as “probably AI-written” and incorrectly identified human-written text as AI-generated 9% of the time. Not so good. It’s amusing that I’m trying to use an AI to determine if students are cheating with another AI. Because AI isn’t perfect at detecting plagiarism, educators need to be more creative when teaching and grading. Perhaps assign personal reflection questions and handwritten work?

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Another area where AI could help students is in AI tutoring programs and AI-enabled mental health services. Virtual tutors could be available 24/7, focus on goal skills, and work at their own pace—which students like. Students may even prefer an anonymous, non-judgmental tutor with a custom avatar. AI can conduct basic assessments and refer students for face-to-face interactions with school counselors when needed. Automated AI systems, perhaps even disguised as entertaining games, could soon help schools identify students who are at risk for academic, behavioral and mental health problems.

Future posts will continue to explore how AI is changing our behavior. We will explore how AI is transforming business, the workplace, transportation, communications, drug development and healthcare.

Some will say that the AI ​​risks outweigh the benefits; from privacy concerns to the sci-fi notion that the AI ​​robots will take over. That’s not realistic. AI is here to stay and this technology will enable new discoveries in all aspects of life. Any major technology-driven shift will see jobs lost and new careers created as well. AI will bring about positive developments, but this tool must be used carefully to avoid risks to livelihoods and privacy.

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Note: This post was entirely written by a human author.