Daniel Christian: My slides for the Educational Technology Organization of Michigan’s Spring 2024 Retreat

From DSC:
Last Thursday, I presented at the Educational Technology Organization of Michigan’s Spring 2024 Retreat. I wanted to pass along my slides to you all, in case they are helpful to you.

Topics/agenda:

  • Topics & resources re: Artificial Intelligence (AI)
    • Top multimodal players
    • Resources for learning about AI
    • Applications of AI
    • My predictions re: AI
  • The powerful impact of pursuing a vision
  • A potential, future next-gen learning platform
  • Share some lessons from my past with pertinent questions for you all now
  • The significant impact of an organization’s culture
  • Bonus material: Some people to follow re: learning science and edtech

 

Education Technology Organization of Michigan -- ETOM -- Spring 2024 Retreat on June 6-7

PowerPoint slides of Daniel Christian's presentation at ETOM

Slides of the presentation (.PPTX)
Slides of the presentation (.PDF)

 


Plus several more slides re: this vision.

 

AI Policy 101: a Beginners’ Framework — from drphilippahardman.substack.com by Dr. Philippa Hardman
How to make a case for AI experimentation & testing in learning & development


6 AI Tools Recommended By Teachers That Aren’t ChatGPT — from forbes.com by Dan Fitzpatrick

Here are six AI tools making waves in classrooms worldwide:

  • Brisk Teaching
  • SchoolAI
  • Diffit
  • Curipod
  • Skybox by Blockade Labs in ThingLink
  • Ideogram

With insights from educators who are leveraging their potential, let’s explore them in more detail.


AI Is Speeding Up L&D But Are We Losing the Learning? — from learningguild.com by Danielle Wallace

The role of learning & development
Given these risks, what can L&D professionals do to ensure generative AI contributes to effective learning? The solution lies in embracing the role of trusted learning advisors, guiding the use of AI tools in a way that prioritizes achieving learning outcomes over only speed. Here are three key steps to achieve this:

1. Playtest and Learn About AI
2. Set the Direction for AI to Be Learner-Centered…
3. Become Trusted Learning Advisors…


Some other tools to explore:

Descript: If you can edit text, you can edit videos. — per Bloomberg’s Vlad Savov
Descript is the AI-powered, fully featured, end-to-end video editor that you already know how to use.

A video editor that works like docs and slides
No need to learn a new tool — Descript works like the tools you’ve already learned.

Audeze | Filter — per Bloomberg’s Vlad Savov


AI Chatbots in Schools Findings from a Poll of K-12 Teachers, Students, Parents, and College Undergraduates — from Impact Research; via Michael Spencer and Lily Lee

Key Findings

  • In the last year, AI has become even more intertwined with our education system. More teachers, parents, and students are aware of it and have used it themselves on a regular basis. It is all over our education system today.
  • While negative views of AI have crept up over the last year, students, teachers, and parents feel very positive about it in general. On balance they see positive uses for the technology in school, especially if they have used it themselves.
  • Most K-12 teachers, parents, and students don’t think their school is doing much about AI, despite its widespread use. Most say their school has no policy on it, is doing nothing to offer desired teacher training, and isn’t meeting the demand of students who’d like a career in a job that will need AI.
  • The AI vacuum in school policy means it is currently used “unauthorized,” while instead people want policies that encourage AI. Kids, parents, and teachers are figuring it out on their own/without express permission, whereas all stakeholders would rather have a policy that explicitly encourages AI from a thoughtful foundation.

The Value of AI in Today’s Classrooms — from waltonfamilyfoundation.org

There is much discourse about the rise and prevalence of AI in education and beyond. These debates often lack the perspectives of key stakeholders – parents, students and teachers.

In 2023, the Walton Family Foundation commissioned the first national survey of teacher and student attitudes toward ChatGPT. The findings showed that educators and students embrace innovation and are optimistic that AI can meaningfully support traditional instruction.

A new survey conducted May 7-15, 2024, showed that knowledge of and support for AI in education is growing among parents, students and teachers. More than 80% of each group says it has had a positive impact on education.

 

 

Microsoft teams with Khan Academy to make its AI tutor free for K-12 educators and will develop a Phi-3 math model — from venturebeat.com by Ken Yeung

Microsoft is partnering with Khan Academy in a multifaceted deal to demonstrate how AI can transform the way we learn. The cornerstone of today’s announcement centers on Khan Academy’s Khanmigo AI agent. Microsoft says it will migrate the bot to its Azure OpenAI Service, enabling the nonprofit educational organization to provide all U.S. K-12 educators free access to Khanmigo.

In addition, Microsoft plans to use its Phi-3 model to help Khan Academy improve math tutoring and collaborate to generate more high-quality learning content while making more courses available within Microsoft Copilot and Microsoft Teams for Education.


One-Third of Teachers Have Already Tried AI, Survey Finds — from the74million.org by Kevin Mahnken
A RAND poll released last month finds English and social studies teachers embracing tools like ChatGPT.

One in three American teachers have used artificial intelligence tools in their teaching at least once, with English and social studies teachers leading the way, according to a RAND Corporation survey released last month. While the new technology isn’t yet transforming how kids learn, both teachers and district leaders expect that it will become an increasingly common feature of school life.


Professors Try ‘Restrained AI’ Approach to Help Teach Writing — from edsurge.com by Jeffrey R. Young
Can ChatGPT make human writing more efficient, or is writing an inherently time-consuming process best handled without AI tools?

This article is part of the guide: For Education, ChatGPT Holds Promise — and Creates Problems.

When ChatGPT emerged a year and half ago, many professors immediately worried that their students would use it as a substitute for doing their own written assignments — that they’d click a button on a chatbot instead of doing the thinking involved in responding to an essay prompt themselves.

But two English professors at Carnegie Mellon University had a different first reaction: They saw in this new technology a way to show students how to improve their writing skills.

“They start really polishing way too early,” Kaufer says. “And so what we’re trying to do is with AI, now you have a tool to rapidly prototype your language when you are prototyping the quality of your thinking.”

He says the concept is based on writing research from the 1980s that shows that experienced writers spend about 80 percent of their early writing time thinking about whole-text plans and organization and not about sentences.


On Building AI Models for Education — from aieducation.substack.com by Claire Zau
Google’s LearnLM, Khan Academy/MSFT’s Phi-3 Models, and OpenAI’s ChatGPT Edu

This piece primarily breaks down how Google’s LearnLM was built, and takes a quick look at Microsoft/Khan Academy’s Phi-3 and OpenAI’s ChatGPT Edu as alternative approaches to building an “education model” (not necessarily a new model in the latter case, but we’ll explain). Thanks to the public release of their 86-page research paper, we have the most comprehensive view into LearnLM. Our understanding of Microsoft/Khan Academy small language models and ChatGPT Edu is limited to the information provided through announcements, leaving us with less “under the hood” visibility into their development.


AI tutors are quietly changing how kids in the US study, and the leading apps are from China — from techcrunch.com by Rita Liao

Answer AI is among a handful of popular apps that are leveraging the advent of ChatGPT and other large language models to help students with everything from writing history papers to solving physics problems. Of the top 20 education apps in the U.S. App Store, five are AI agents that help students with their school assignments, including Answer AI, according to data from Data.ai on May 21.


Is your school behind on AI? If so, there are practical steps you can take for the next 12 months — from stefanbauschard.substack.com by Stefan Bauschard

If your school (district) or university has not yet made significant efforts to think about how you will prepare your students for a World of AI, I suggest the following steps:

July 24 – Administrator PD & AI Guidance
In July, administrators should receive professional development on AI, if they haven’t already. This should include…

August 24 –Professional Development for Teachers and Staff…
Fall 24 — Parents; Co-curricular; Classroom experiments…
December 24 — Revision to Policy…


New ChatGPT Version Aiming at Higher Ed — from insidehighered.com by Lauren Coffey
ChatGPT Edu, emerging after initial partnerships with several universities, is prompting both cautious optimism and worries.

OpenAI unveiled a new version of ChatGPT focused on universities on Thursday, building on work with a handful of higher education institutions that partnered with the tech giant.

The ChatGPT Edu product, expected to start rolling out this summer, is a platform for institutions intended to give students free access. OpenAI said the artificial intelligence (AI) toolset could be used for an array of education applications, including tutoring, writing grant applications and reviewing résumés.

 
 

LearnLM is Google's new family of models fine-tuned for learning, and grounded in educational research to make teaching and learning experiences more active, personal and engaging.

LearnLM is our new family of models fine-tuned for learning, and grounded in educational research to make teaching and learning experiences more active, personal and engaging.

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AI in Education: Google’s LearnLM product has incredible potential — from ai-supremacy.com by Michael Spencer and Nick Potkalitsky
Google’s Ed Suite is giving Teachers new ideas for incorporating AI into the classroom.

We often talk about what Generative AI will do for coders, healthcare, science or even finance, but what about the benefits for the next generation? Permit me if you will, here I’m thinking about teachers and students.

It’s no secret that some of the most active users of ChatGPT in its heyday, were students. But how are other major tech firms thinking about this?

I actually think one of the best products with the highest ceiling from Google I/O 2024 is LearnLM. It has to be way more than a chatbot, it has to feel like a multimodal tutor. I can imagine frontier model agents (H) doing this fairly well.

What if everyone, everywhere could have their own personal AI tutor, on any topic?


ChatGPT4o Is the TikTok of AI Models — from nickpotkalitsky.substack.com by Nick Potkalitsky
In Search of Better Tools for AI Access in K-12 Classrooms

Nick makes the case that we should pause on the use of OpenAI in the classrooms:

In light of these observations, it’s clear that we must pause and rethink the use of OpenAI products in our classrooms, except for rare cases where accessibility needs demand it. The rapid consumerization of AI, epitomized by GPT4o’s transformation into an AI salesperson, calls for caution.


The Future of AI in Education: Google and OpenAI Strategies Unveiled — from edtechinsiders.substack.comby Ben Kornell

Google’s Strategy: AI Everywhere
Key Points

  • Google will win through seamless Gemini integration across all Google products
  • Enterprise approach in education to make Gemini the default at low/no additional cost
  • Functional use cases and model tuning demonstrate Google’s knowledge of educators

OpenAI’s Strategy: ChatGPT as the Front Door
Key Points

  • OpenAI taking a consumer-led freemium approach to education
  • API powers an app layer that delivers education-specific use cases
  • Betting on a large user base + app marketplace
 

AI’s New Conversation Skills Eyed for Education — from insidehighered.com by Lauren Coffey
The latest ChatGPT’s more human-like verbal communication has professors pondering personalized learning, on-demand tutoring and more classroom applications.

ChatGPT’s newest version, GPT-4o ( the “o” standing for “omni,” meaning “all”), has a more realistic voice and quicker verbal response time, both aiming to sound more human. The version, which should be available to free ChatGPT users in coming weeks—a change also hailed by educators—allows people to interrupt it while it speaks, simulates more emotions with its voice and translates languages in real time. It also can understand instructions in text and images and has improved video capabilities.

Ajjan said she immediately thought the new vocal and video capabilities could allow GPT to serve as a personalized tutor. Personalized learning has been a focus for educators grappling with the looming enrollment cliff and for those pushing for student success.

There’s also the potential for role playing, according to Ajjan. She pointed to mock interviews students could do to prepare for job interviews, or, for example, using GPT to play the role of a buyer to help prepare students in an economics course.

 

 

io.google/2024

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How generative AI expands curiosity and understanding with LearnLM — from blog.google
LearnLM is our new family of models fine-tuned for learning, and grounded in educational research to make teaching and learning experiences more active, personal and engaging.

Generative AI is fundamentally changing how we’re approaching learning and education, enabling powerful new ways to support educators and learners. It’s taking curiosity and understanding to the next level — and we’re just at the beginning of how it can help us reimagine learning.

Today we’re introducing LearnLM: our new family of models fine-tuned for learning, based on Gemini.

On YouTube, a conversational AI tool makes it possible to figuratively “raise your hand” while watching academic videos to ask clarifying questions, get helpful explanations or take a quiz on what you’ve been learning. This even works with longer educational videos like lectures or seminars thanks to the Gemini model’s long-context capabilities. These features are already rolling out to select Android users in the U.S.

Learn About is a new Labs experience that explores how information can turn into understanding by bringing together high-quality content, learning science and chat experiences. Ask a question and it helps guide you through any topic at your own pace — through pictures, videos, webpages and activities — and you can upload files or notes and ask clarifying questions along the way.


Google I/O 2024: An I/O for a new generation — from blog.google

The Gemini era
A year ago on the I/O stage we first shared our plans for Gemini: a frontier model built to be natively multimodal from the beginning, that could reason across text, images, video, code, and more. It marks a big step in turning any input into any output — an “I/O” for a new generation.

In this story:


Daily Digest: Google I/O 2024 – AI search is here. — from bensbites.beehiiv.com
PLUS: It’s got Agents, Video and more. And, Ilya leaves OpenAI

  • Google is integrating AI into all of its ecosystem: Search, Workspace, Android, etc. In true Google fashion, many features are “coming later this year”. If they ship and perform like the demos, Google will get a serious upper hand over OpenAI/Microsoft.
  • All of the AI features across Google products will be powered by Gemini 1.5 Pro. It’s Google’s best model and one of the top models. A new Gemini 1.5 Flash model is also launched, which is faster and much cheaper.
  • Google has ambitious projects in the pipeline. Those include a real-time voice assistant called Astra, a long-form video generator called Veo, plans for end-to-end agents, virtual AI teammates and more.

 



New ways to engage with Gemini for Workspace — from workspace.google.com

Today at Google I/O we’re announcing new, powerful ways to get more done in your personal and professional life with Gemini for Google Workspace. Gemini in the side panel of your favorite Workspace apps is rolling out more broadly and will use the 1.5 Pro model for answering a wider array of questions and providing more insightful responses. We’re also bringing more Gemini capabilities to your Gmail app on mobile, helping you accomplish more on the go. Lastly, we’re showcasing how Gemini will become the connective tissue across multiple applications with AI-powered workflows. And all of this comes fresh on the heels of the innovations and enhancements we announced last month at Google Cloud Next.


Google’s Gemini updates: How Project Astra is powering some of I/O’s big reveals — from techcrunch.com by Kyle Wiggers

Google is improving its AI-powered chatbot Gemini so that it can better understand the world around it — and the people conversing with it.

At the Google I/O 2024 developer conference on Tuesday, the company previewed a new experience in Gemini called Gemini Live, which lets users have “in-depth” voice chats with Gemini on their smartphones. Users can interrupt Gemini while the chatbot’s speaking to ask clarifying questions, and it’ll adapt to their speech patterns in real time. And Gemini can see and respond to users’ surroundings, either via photos or video captured by their smartphones’ cameras.


Generative AI in Search: Let Google do the searching for you — from blog.google
With expanded AI Overviews, more planning and research capabilities, and AI-organized search results, our custom Gemini model can take the legwork out of searching.


 

Hello GPT-4o — from openai.com
We’re announcing GPT-4o, our new flagship model that can reason across audio, vision, and text in real time.

GPT-4o (“o” for “omni”) is a step towards much more natural human-computer interaction—it accepts as input any combination of text, audio, image, and video and generates any combination of text, audio, and image outputs. It can respond to audio inputs in as little as 232 milliseconds, with an average of 320 milliseconds, which is similar to human response time in a conversation. It matches GPT-4 Turbo performance on text in English and code, with significant improvement on text in non-English languages, while also being much faster and 50% cheaper in the API. GPT-4o is especially better at vision and audio understanding compared to existing models.

Example topics covered here:

  • Two GPT-4os interacting and singing
  • Languages/translation
  • Personalized math tutor
  • Meeting AI
  • Harmonizing and creating music
  • Providing inflection, emotions, and a human-like voice
  • Understanding what the camera is looking at and integrating it into the AI’s responses
  • Providing customer service

With GPT-4o, we trained a single new model end-to-end across text, vision, and audio, meaning that all inputs and outputs are processed by the same neural network. Because GPT-4o is our first model combining all of these modalities, we are still just scratching the surface of exploring what the model can do and its limitations.





From DSC:
I like the assistive tech angle here:





 

 

ChatGPT remembers who you are — from thebrainyacts.beehiiv.com |Brainyacts #191

OpenAI rolls out Memory feature for ChatGPT
OpenAI has introduced a cool update for ChatGPT (rolling out to paid and free users – but not in the EU or Korea), enabling the AI to remember user-specific details across sessions. This memory feature enhances personalization and efficiency, making your interactions with ChatGPT more relevant and engaging.

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Key Features

  1. Automatic Memory Tracking
    • ChatGPT now automatically records information from your interactions such as preferences, interests, and plans. This allows the AI to refine its responses over time, making each conversation increasingly tailored to you.
  2. Enhanced Personalization
    • The more you interact with ChatGPT, the better it understands your needs and adapts its responses accordingly. This personalization improves the relevance and efficiency of your interactions, whether you’re asking for daily tasks or discussing complex topics.
  3. Memory Management Options
    • You have full control over this feature. You can view what information is stored, toggle the memory on or off, and delete specific data or all memory entries, ensuring your privacy and preferences are respected.




From DSC:
The ability of AI-based applications to remember things about us will have major and positive ramifications for us when we think about learning-related applications of AI.


 

Shares of two big online education stocks tank more than 10% as students use ChatGPT — from cnbc.com by Michelle Fox; via Robert Gibson on LinkedIn

The rapid rise of artificial intelligence appears to be taking a toll on the shares of online education companies Chegg and Coursera.

Both stocks sank by more than 10% on Tuesday after issuing disappointing guidance in part because of students using AI tools such as ChatGPT from OpenAI.



Synthetic Video & AI Professors — from drphilippahardman.substack.com by Dr. Philippa Hardman
Are we witnessing the emergence of a new, post-AI model of async online learning?

TLDR: by effectively tailoring the learning experience to the learner’s comprehension levels and preferred learning modes, AI can enhance the overall learning experience, leading to increased “stickiness” and higher rates of performance in assessments.

TLDR: AI enables us to scale responsive, personalised “always on” feedback and support in a way that might help to solve one of the most wicked problems of online async learning – isolation and, as a result, disengagement.

In the last year we have also seen the rise of an unprecedented number of “always on” AI tutors, built to provide coaching and feedback how and when learners need it.

Perhaps the most well-known example is Khan Academy’s Khanmigo and its GPT sidekick Tutor Me. We’re also seeing similar tools emerge in K12 and Higher Ed where AI is being used to extend the support and feedback provided for students beyond the physical classroom.


Our Guidance on School AI Guidance document has been updated — from stefanbauschard.substack.com by Stefan Bauschard

We’ve updated the free 72-page document we wrote to help schools design their own AI guidance policies.

There are a few key updates.

  1. Inclusion of Oklahoma and significant updates from North Carolina and Washington.
  2. More specifics on implementation — thanks NC and WA!
  3. A bit more on instructional redesign. Thanks to NC for getting this party started!

Creating a Culture Around AI: Thoughts and Decision-Making — from er.educause.edu by Courtney Plotts and Lorna Gonzalez

Given the potential ramifications of artificial intelligence (AI) diffusion on matters of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility, now is the time for higher education institutions to adopt culturally aware, analytical decision-making processes, policies, and practices around AI tools selection and use.

 

 

 

Description:

I recently created an AI version of myself—REID AI—and recorded a Q&A to see how this digital twin might challenge me in new ways. The video avatar is generated by Hour One, its voice was created by Eleven Labs, and its persona—the way that REID AI formulates responses—is generated from a custom chatbot built on GPT-4 that was trained on my books, speeches, podcasts and other content that I’ve produced over the last few decades. I decided to interview it to test its capability and how closely its responses match—and test—my thinking. Then, REID AI asked me some questions on AI and technology. I thought I would hate this, but I’ve actually ended up finding the whole experience interesting and thought-provoking.


From DSC:
This ability to ask questions of a digital twin is very interesting when you think about it in terms of “interviewing” a historical figure. I believe character.ai provides this kind of thing, but I haven’t used it much.


 

The AI Tools in Education Database — from aitoolsdirectory.notion.site; via George Siemens

Since AI in education has been moving at the speed of light, we built this AI Tools in Education database to keep track of the most recent AI tools in education and the changes that are happening every day. This database is intended to be a community resource for educators, researchers, students, and other edtech specialists looking to stay up to date. This is a living document, so be sure to come back for regular updates.


Another Workshop for Faculty and Staff — from aiedusimplified.substack.com by Lance Eaton
A recent workshop with some adjustments.

The day started out with a short talk about AI (slides). Some of it is my usual schtick where I do a bit of Q&A with folks around myths and misunderstandings of generative AI in order to establish some common ground. These are often useful both in setting the tone and giving folks a sense of how I come to explore generative AI: with a mixture of humor, concern, curiosity, and of course, cat pics.

From there, we launched into a series of mini-workshops where folks had time to first play around with some previously created prompts around teaching and learning before moving onto prompts for administrative work. The prompts and other support materials are in this Workshop Resource Document. The goal was to just get them into using one or more AI tools with some useful prompts so they can learn more about its capabilities.


The Edtech Insiders Rundown of ASU+GSV 2024 — from edtechinsiders.substack.com by by Sarah Morin, Alex Sarlin, and Ben Kornell
And more on Edtech Insiders+, upcoming events, Gauth, AI Reading Tutors, The Artificial Intelligence Interdisciplinary Institute, and TeachAI Policy Resources

Alex Sarlin

4. Everyone is Edtech Now
This year, in addition to investors, entrepreneurs, educators, school leaders, university admins, non-profits, publishers, and operators from countless edtech startups and incumbents, there were some serious big tech companies in attendance like Meta, Google, OpenAI, Microsoft, Amazon, Tiktok, and Canva. Additionally, a horde of management consultancies, workforce organizations, mental health orgs, and filmmakers were in attendance.

Edtech continues to expand as an industry category and everyone is getting involved.


Ep 18 | Rethinking Education, Lessons to Unlearn, Become a Generalist, & More — Ana Lorena Fábrega — from mishadavinci.substack.com by Misha da Vinci

It was such a delight to chat with Ana. She’s brilliant and passionate, a talented educator, and an advocate for better ways of learning for children and adults. We cover ways to transform schools so that students get real-world skills, learn resilience and how to embrace challenges, and are prepared for an unpredictable future. And we go hard on why we must keep learning no matter our age, become generalists, and leverage technology in order to adapt to the fast-changing world.

Misha also featured an item re: the future of schooling and it contained this graphic:


Texas is replacing thousands of human exam graders with AI — from theverge.com by Jess Weatherbed

The Texas Tribune reports an “automated scoring engine” that utilizes natural language processing — the technology that enables chatbots like OpenAI’s ChatGPT to understand and communicate with users — is being rolled out by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to grade open-ended questions on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) exams. The agency is expecting the system to save $15–20 million per year by reducing the need for temporary human scorers, with plans to hire under 2,000 graders this year compared to the 6,000 required in 2023.


Debating About AI: An Easy Path to AI Awareness and Basic Literacy — from stefanbauschard.substack.com by Stefan Bauschard
If you are an organization committed to AI literacy, consider sponsoring some debate topics and/or debates next year and expose thousands of students to AI literacy.

Resolved: Teachers should integrate generative AI in their teaching and learning.

The topic is simple but raises an issue that students can connect with.

While helping my students prepare and judging debates, I saw students demonstrate an understanding of many key issues and controversies.

These included—

*AI writing assessment/grading
*Bias
*Bullying
*Cognitive load
*Costs of AI systems
*Declining test scores
*Deep fakes
*Differentiation
*Energy consumption
*Hallucinations
*Human-to-human connection
*Inequality and inequity in access
*Neurodiversity
*Personalized learning
*Privacy
*Regulation (lack thereof)
*The future of work and unemployment
*Saving teachers time
*Soft skills
*Standardized testing
*Student engagement
*Teacher awareness and AI training; training resource trade-offs
*Teacher crowd-out
*Transparency and explainability
*Writing detectors (students had an exaggerated sense of the workability of these tools).

 

AI RESOURCES AND TEACHING (Kent State University) — from aiadvisoryboards.wordpress.com

AI Resources and Teaching | Kent State University offers valuable resources for educators interested in incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) into their teaching practices. The university recognizes that the rapid emergence of AI tools presents both challenges and opportunities in higher education.

The AI Resources and Teaching page provides educators with information and guidance on various AI tools and their responsible use within and beyond the classroom. The page covers different areas of AI application, including language generation, visuals, videos, music, information extraction, quantitative analysis, and AI syllabus language examples.


A Cautionary AI Tale: Why IBM’s Dazzling Watson Supercomputer Made a Lousy Tutor — from the74million.org by Greg Toppo
With a new race underway to create the next teaching chatbot, IBM’s abandoned 5-year, $100M ed push offers lessons about AI’s promise and its limits.

For all its jaw-dropping power, Watson the computer overlord was a weak teacher. It couldn’t engage or motivate kids, inspire them to reach new heights or even keep them focused on the material — all qualities of the best mentors.

It’s a finding with some resonance to our current moment of AI-inspired doomscrolling about the future of humanity in a world of ascendant machines. “There are some things AI is actually very good for,” Nitta said, “but it’s not great as a replacement for humans.”

His five-year journey to essentially a dead-end could also prove instructive as ChatGPT and other programs like it fuel a renewed, multimillion-dollar experiment to, in essence, prove him wrong.

To be sure, AI can do sophisticated things such as generating quizzes from a class reading and editing student writing. But the idea that a machine or a chatbot can actually teach as a human can, he said, represents “a profound misunderstanding of what AI is actually capable of.” 

Nitta, who still holds deep respect for the Watson lab, admits, “We missed something important. At the heart of education, at the heart of any learning, is engagement. And that’s kind of the Holy Grail.”

From DSC:
This is why the vision that I’ve been tracking and working on has always said that HUMAN BEINGS will be necessary — they are key to realizing this vision. Along these lines, here’s a relevant quote:

Another crucial component of a new learning theory for the age of AI would be the cultivation of “blended intelligence.” This concept recognizes that the future of learning and work will involve the seamless integration of human and machine capabilities, and that learners must develop the skills and strategies needed to effectively collaborate with AI systems. Rather than viewing AI as a threat to human intelligence, a blended intelligence approach seeks to harness the complementary strengths of humans and machines, creating a symbiotic relationship that enhances the potential of both.

Per Alexander “Sasha” Sidorkin, Head of the National Institute on AI in Society at California State University Sacramento.

 

How to Make the Dream of Education Equity (or Most of It) a Reality — from nataliewexler.substack.com by Natalie Wexler
Studies on the effects of tutoring–by humans or computers–point to ways to improve regular classroom instruction.

One problem, of course, is that it’s prohibitively expensive to hire a tutor for every average or struggling student, or even one for every two or three of them. This was the two-sigma “problem” that Bloom alluded to in the title of his essay: how can the massive benefits of tutoring possibly be scaled up? Both Khan and Zuckerberg have argued that the answer is to have computers, maybe powered by artificial intelligence, serve as tutors instead of humans.

From DSC:
I’m hoping that AI-backed learning platforms WILL help many people of all ages and backgrounds. But I realize — and appreciate what Natalie is saying here as well — that human beings are needed in the learning process (especially at younger ages). 

But without the human element, that’s unlikely to be enough. Students are more likely to work hard to please a teacher than to please a computer.

Natalie goes on to talk about training all teachers in cognitive science — a solid idea for sure. That’s what I was trying to get at with this graphic:
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We need to take more of the research from learning science and apply it in our learning spaces.

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But I’m not as hopeful in all teachers getting trained in cognitive science…as it should have happened (in the Schools of Education and in the K12 learning ecosystem at large) by now. Perhaps it will happen, given enough time.

And with more homeschooling and blended programs of education occurring, that idea gets stretched even further. 

K-12 Hybrid Schooling Is in High Demand — from realcleareducation.com by Keri D. Ingraham (emphasis below from DSC); via GSV

Parents are looking for a different kind of education for their children. A 2024 poll of parents reveals that 72% are considering, 63% are searching for, and 44% have selected a new K-12 school option for their children over the past few years. So, what type of education are they seeking?

Additional polling data reveals that 49% of parents would prefer their child learn from home at least one day a week. While 10% want full-time homeschooling, the remaining 39% of parents desire their child to learn at home one to four days a week, with the remaining days attending school on-campus. Another parent poll released this month indicates that an astonishing 64% of parents indicated that if they were looking for a new school for their child, they would enroll him or her in a hybrid school.

 
© 2024 | Daniel Christian