SXSW – South by Southwest

March 9, 2023 – 2:43 p.m

(credit: reproduction)

SXSW EDU kicked off on March 6th and, as expected, the topic of the moment is how artificial intelligence is already revolutionizing our society, and education in particular.

At the time of ChapGPT, where a huge amount of data can be summarized in a few seconds, four experts spoke on the panel “Developing and assessing creative skills with AI” and presented a positive view on this topic. According to them, if we ask the right questions, we can use the information systematized by artificial intelligence and add layers of ideas to increase the learning context. The time spent on research should be used for solving solutions, that is, for expanding cognitive and creative capacities.

However, for all this to happen there is a key skill: critical thinking. We must be critical of the data presented by the tool and critical of the inclusion of people and communities that do not have access to cutting-edge technology.

According to @Chris Purifoy, CEO and co-founder of Learning Economy, we’re just getting started. Artificial intelligence will be as disruptive to this generation as the computer and the Internet were to previous generations. “Let’s make tasks easier and more fun. Let’s teach kids to have superpowers with super skills,” says an enthusiastic Purifoy.

In the second session “Always On, Learning in the Age of AI and Technology”, 3 more experts, including Paul Kim, CTO of Stanford University, agreed that AI is a super powerful and effective tool for education. The challenge is how to harness this power in the classroom. Among the exercises Kim recommended, he suggested that they first ask relevant and specific questions (level 5 questions) for ChatGPT, and after receiving the answers, students should fill in what is missing, adding ideas and arguments that help the tool improve your skills. In this way, according to Kim, we humans will have meta intelligence.

In the second session on “Digital Equity and Artificial Intelligence in Education,” Beth Havinga, CEO of the EdSafe AI Alliance, was much more critical and presented a more negative and scary perspective of what’s to come. According to her, we must be proactive in the tool and enter true data and facts. In addition to fake news, there is a great risk of erasing historical facts such as the Holocaust. Havinga works in several countries around the world, looking for best practices to find a way to regulate these new technologies. “More than trusting the tools, we have to trust the teachers,” says Havinga.

Rose Luckin, professor of learner-centered design at UCL Lab in London, sweetly and casually calms the soul of a room full of educators: “We are better than artificial intelligence, we can feel, we are empathetic, we are more creative.”

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