Welcome to Digitally Literate, issue #360. Back at it again.
For the last couple of weeks, I was in Ireland for a study abroad class that I help facilitate.
I posted the following this week:
- The Role of AI in Online Reading Comprehension: A New Literacies Perspective – I take a look back at the first time I recognized AI helping readers as they search online.
- Introducing Pre-Service Teachers to Virtual AI Assistants – I’ve been playing with AI tools in my classes to see what my students (pre-service teachers) think. Here’s some of the initial insight.
- Towards Transformative Socioemotional Learning – I gave a presentation with a colleague, Carlos Lavin, at a state conference on helping to create healthy and happy humans for the future.
- Revolutionize Your Presentations with AI-Generative Tools – I played with some generative AI tools to see how they would pull together a slide deck for a presentation.
- Privilege and the Future of AI in the Classroom – Much of the discussion around AI in education (and technology in education) is guided on the premise of “you need to learn how I learned.” I push back against this privileging of one view of learning over others.
Mark Rober provides an overview of Zipline, an American company that designs, manufactures, and operates delivery drones.
Although it may be a popular idea in science fiction, what do scientists say about this scenario?
This week was a big week in artificial intelligence (AI). Charlie Warzel indicates that you might feel overwhelmed, or even tired at this moment. Warzel canvasses a group of researchers, academics, entrepreneurs, and regular folk about the topic.
With all of this, where does a more powerful AI leave us?
Why this matters. There was a lot of news this week in AI tools and I’ll try to provide an overview of the top-level pieces in this issue. There is much more unpacking to come as we stay on top of this. One thing is clear, there is a lot of hysteria and hyperbole at the current moment. We’ve seen this before as new technologies impact society. It will be interesting to see how much of a change actually comes about.
Chris Saad is a startup and product builder, angel investor, and strategic adviser. He pushes back against the Turing Test as we consider benchmarking AI tools. The Turing Test is a method of inquiry in AI for determining whether or not a computer is capable of thinking like a human being.
Saad suggests that the Turing Test operates on a simple pass/fail basis and focuses heavily on linguistic capability, which is only one aspect of human intelligence. This model would identify eight different types of intelligence, and give a score of 1 (No Capability or a human infant) to 5 (Self-agency or Super Intelligence).
Why this matters. I’m reading through some of the white papers following the launch of GPT-4 this week, and it’s already raising some interesting questions. I know that there will be some pushback, for a variety of reasons about using Gardner’s theory in this capacity, but I think it has some merit as we consider the impact of these tools and platforms over time.
OpenAI this week unveiled GPT-4, the latest incarnation of the large language model that powers its popular chatbot ChatGPT. The system’s capabilities are still being assessed, but as researchers and experts pore over its accompanying materials. The company says GPT-4 contains big improvements, but some flaws still exist in the platform.
Why this matters. There is a lot to like, and a lot to question about the latest model from OpenAI. My one concern at this point is that this language model is not open. As opposed to earlier models of GPT, OpenAI is disclosing nothing about the training of this new model. This seems to be equal parts competitive business, with a certain amount of making sure the model doesn’t go to bad actors in the future.
Todd Finley with a great post on how to possibly use AI virtual assistants to help you out in the classroom.
Finley shares insight on how educators can use the platforms to help in the following categories: planning instruction, handouts and materials, differentiation, correspondence, assessment, and writing instruction and feedback.
Marc Andreessen: We’re heading into a world where a flat-screen TV that covers your entire wall costs $100 and a 4-year degree costs $1M
In his newsletter this week, Marc Andreessen, the co-founder of venture capital giant Andreessen Horowitz argues that in the slow sector—eldercare, childcare, health care, education, construction, and government—prices are rising fast, and there’s almost no productivity growth as measured by economists. “Left unchecked, those sectors are basically just going to eat the economy,” he said.
Marc Andreessen also isn’t worried about AI taking people’s jobs. The way he sees it, technological innovation isn’t allowed to disrupt much of the economy anyway.
Why this matters. The prices of education, health care, and housing as well as anything provided or controlled by the government are going to the moon, even as those sectors are technologically stagnant.
While in Ireland, the food was amazing. One of the things that captured our imagination was rocket pesto. Rocket pesto sounded fancy, but it’s just pesto made with arugula. Delicious. 🙂
As more and more artificial intelligence is entering into the world, more and more emotional intelligence must enter into leadership.
Cover Photo CC BY using DALL·E.