Artificial intelligence (AI) tools are revolutionizing industries, and education is no exception.
But before you get too excited about the possibilities, let’s consider the benefits and limitations of using AI tools, as well as the ethical debates surrounding their use.
AI is here to stay. And, while it may not yet be able to replace human teachers, it is already being used to enhance and supplement traditional education.
Language models, like Elicit, can be used to automate and accelerate the research process, allowing anyone to quickly become an expert in any topic. By analyzing and organizing vast amounts of information, language models can help one filter out irrelevant or low-quality sources, saving time and effort in the process.
As another example, Dr. Philippa Hardman demonstrated in a LinkedIn post how she used ChatGPT (a chatbot that uses natural language processing) to create an automated grading system. Systems like this could save educators a lot of time, allowing them to focus on more high-level tasks like providing feedback and facilitating discussions.
Image by Midjourney, prompted by Simon Strehler
AI tools are, however, still just tools. While AI tools can handle certain tasks more efficiently than humans, they still require human input and oversight to refine their outputs into great deliverables.
That being said, AI can seriously improve human creativity. By taking care of mundane or repetitive tasks, AI can free up our time and energy to focus on more abstract and creative tasks.
To test the power of these tools, I ‘wrote’ and ‘illustrated’ a short story for my toddler using ChatGPT and Midjourney.
The whole process took approximately four hours. The majority of that time was spent editing the outputs of ChatGPT and Midjourney in Photoshop to assemble the story.
I would never have been able to create something like William’s Tower in four hours without these tools, but that being said, ChatGPT and Midjourney could never have created it alone either.
We’re still a long way away from being able to say ‘Hey Siri, write and illustrate a bedtime story for my son’ and get good results.
Of course, the use of these AI tools is not without controversy. There are ongoing debates surrounding issues such as bias and privacy, and it is important for educators and education technology companies to carefully consider the ethical implications of their use of AI tools.
Hardman, P. (2023, January 2). AI assessment feedback using ChatGPT. LinkedIn. https://www.linkedin.com/posts/dr-philippa-hardman-057851120_ai-feedback-assessment-activity-7015687639102070784-6UE6
Helander, M. (2022, December 28). Midjourney – AI and ethics. Media Humans & Machines. Retrieved January 4, 2023, from https://magnushelander.se/midjourney-ai-ethics/
Midjourney. (n.d.). https://midjourney.com
OpenAI. (2022, December 21). ChatGPT: Optimizing language models for dialogue. Retrieved January 4, 2023, from https://openai.com/blog/chatgpt/
Elicit, The AI research assistant. (n.d.). https://elicit.org/