Are You Tired of Hearing About AI Yet?

I ask "Are You Tired of Hearing About AI Yet?" but the question is rhetorical because whether you answer Yes or No, AI is still going to be big news for the foreseeable future.

finger pointingThis month some tech big shots were summoned to the principal's office - well, the White House -  and told they must protect the public from the dangers of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Sundar Pichai of Google, Satya Nadella of Microsoft, and OpenAI's Sam Altmann were told they had a "moral" duty to safeguard society and that the administration may decide to regulate the sector further.

AI products like ChatGPT and Bard have gone mainstream and interacting with "generative AI", which was once the domain of computer scientists, is now something kids are doing. It is writing student assignments by summarizing information from multiple sources, debugging computer code, writing presentations, and even taking a shot at poetry. Some of it reads believably human-generated. Some does not. But it does it in seconds.

Altman of OpenAI commented that in terms of regulation, executives were "surprisingly on the same page on what needs to happen."

I'm sure it came up in the conversations that earlier that week, the "godfather" of AI, Geoffrey Hinton, quit his job at Google - saying he now regretted his work. Then again, he is 75, so "quit" might also be called "retired."

Solar Panel Railways

This seems like something innovative and yet part of me thinks why aren't we already doing things like this.

Solar panels are being rolled out “like carpet” on railway tracks in Switzerland.

Swiss start-up Sun-Ways is installing panels near Buttes train station in the west of the country in May, pending sign-off from the Federal Office of Transport.

As the climate crisis demands that we speed up Europe’s energy transition, developers have been seeing new potential in unusual surfaces.

Google Will 'Help Me Write'

Google recently introduced a new feature to their Workplace suite that they call "Help Me Write." This generative AI will first appear in Gmail and Google Docs. At the moment, it's available to a select audience of invited testers.

Like other generative AI, you will be able to enter a prompt and have a first draft created. for you.,An example Google shared is not having it write a paper for your English class, though it will probably be able to do that. They show the example of having it create a job description for a regional sales representative/

It's another AI tool that might frighten teachers because it seems to help students unfairly but I think this may be a misperception. As with other AI tools, such as the much-discussed chat GPT, I think the best thing educators can do is to introduce this to students and guide them in the ways that it can be best used and best used legitimately.

The evolution of digital literacy in classrooms will never end. Yes, these kinds of AI- assisted-writing tools present boyj opportunities and challenges for educators. But ignoring them or trying to ban them from student use is certainly not the solution. This tool and others like it are an opportunity to improve student writing skills and critical thinking. 

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