AI and Education, a unique position

Since the launch of ChatGPT, the media has been full of articles and discussions about its potential to disrupt education as we know it. While there have been plenty of articles highlighting its negative effects including supporting students to cheat, its tendency to plagiarise or provide inaccurate information, others take a different view – treating this disruption as a force for good rather than for bad. Let’s discuss AI and education. 

Opportunities and challenges

As part of a Social Enterprise which prides itself on promoting Ethical AI and machine learning through our annotation services while also delivering education and training to conflict-affected people, we’ve found ourselves in a unique position when it comes to this debate. Naturally, as part of our mission to deliver impactful digital upskilling programmes, we’ve been considering how ChatGPT may affect our own range of courses which include English and beginner/intermediate I.T as well as more advanced I.T courses such as ‘Introduction to Programming with Python’ and ‘introduction to Graphic Design’.  

It’s clear that while ChatGPT offers challenges to traditional education, there are numerous opportunities to use it creatively to enhance learning and develop skills such as critical thinking. It also has massive potential to support people, especially those displaced and potentially struggling with a new language, to engage with local job markets through its ability to put together CVs and cover letters. It could even be used as a tool for job interview practice! 

Moving forward

While AI will develop further as will our relationship with it, we must learn to work with it when it comes to education to ensure all learners, no matter their age are prepared for working and learning in this digital age. This month, I’ve been reading Rose Luckin’s recent article  ‘Yes, AI could profoundly disrupt education. But maybe that’s not a bad thing’ and using it as a chance to reflect on what learning can look like in the age of AI. Luckin suggests that we need to see this as an opportunity to move away from outdated curriculums which focus on rote learning and to lean into what really makes us human – human intelligence, our ability to think critically and excel in the things which AI cannot do.

As Luckin says: ‘Staying ahead of AI will mean radically rethinking what education is for, and what success means. Human intelligence is far more impressive than any AI system we see today. We possess a rich and diverse intelligence, much of which is unrecognised by our current education system’. 

AI and humanity can work together

At Humans in the Loop, our very model of working places the person in the centre of technology and recognises how AI and humanity can work together. It’s exciting (as well as a little scary!) to see this move beyond the commercial and into other aspects of our society! As we rethink how we can develop our programmes to reflect this, we’d love to hear from you! What do you think of the use of AI in education? Is it an opportunity for us to develop our creativity and critical thinking or do you believe the opposite?

Hester Gartrell, Chief Impact Officer, Humans in the Loop

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