What and how to learn and teach in times of Artificial Intelligence?

The education theorists, practitioners and technologists George Siemens and Stephen Downes united again for the course E-Learning 3.0. Stephen was in a hotel room in Toronto and George somewhere in Australia, but the wonders of YouTube made them unite (after a search for the light switches).

In my earlier posts I referred to the very first MOOC they facilitated (the very first MOOC in general) in 2008, Connectivism & Connected Knowledge (CCK08). There were about 2,000 participants, these days it seems harder to get that many people. Reasons might be the marketing power of Coursera, edX and similar big platforms, the fact that big social media (Facebook) seemed to make blogging and RSS-feeds less relevant.

What else changed? In the video-discussion george Siemens mentions Artificial Intelligence (AI). If machine learning can learn about everything humans can learn, why would we still learn? One part of the answer is that as humans, we cannot not learn. But what is uniquely human? Is it, as he says, compassion and kindness? The ‘beingness’ of humans?

Stephen is not convinced. ML could develop ethics too. But maybe the way we experience the world as biological organisms is different from the way an AI can be aware. So humans could be the voice in the AI’s mind telling that there are more ways to look at the world.

If humans cannot not learn, maybe we should think about teaching. Learning at school can be a frustrating experience, and maybe what we require students to learn is not suited in the age of AI. Stephen point out that the capacity to take decisions and to choose by the learner will become even more important. That was obvious already in 2008 when the learners got an avalanche of learning materials to digest during CCK08 and they were told a that time already to pick and choose. Other important aspects, which are not being measured by universities, is the ability to contemplate about our place in the universe and in the community.

Also in the video: an interesting conversation about fake news and blockchain. Attention: the real conversation starts after about 8 minutes. 

Kurzweil: Brains will extend to the cloud – Computerworld

“Human brains will someday extend into the cloud, futurist and computer pioneer Ray Kurzweil predicted at the DEMO conference here on Tuesday.

Moreover, he said, it will become possible to selectively erase pieces of our memories, while retaining some portions of them, to be able to learn new things no matter how old the person is.”

Of course, it’s all about AI and augmented reality, leading right up to our having an augmented brain. Which, in a sense, we have for so long already – at least since we invented writing. But okay, in many ways we’re re-inventing writing. 

You’ll find the video at Computerworld. 

via Diigo http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9231982/Kurzweil_Brains_will_extend_to_the_cloud

Read also: ‘this is my cybernetic organism, the internet’

From Self-Flying Helicopters to Classrooms of the Future – The Chronicle of Higher Education

“What do self-piloting helicopters have to do with the growing movement to transform education online? A day spent with Mr. Ng here at Coursera’s offices, with the aim of getting a sense of the company’s culture and the ideas that make up its DNA, helped answer that question.

It turns out that the links between artificial-intelligence researchers and MOOC’s run deep. “
via Diigo http://chronicle.com/article/From-Self-Flying-Helicopters/134666/

Mr Ng explains that (big) data, algorithms and expert professors are crucial. But what will the business model be? I guess the big data will be important for the monetization… More discussions about businessmodels and the xMOOCs on Quora.

Mimicry beats consciousness in gaming’s Turing test – tech – 25 September 2012 – New Scientist

“The idea is to design more realistic virtual characters, which, in turn, should make video games more compelling and software simulations used for training more useful. In the future, the software could drive physical robots capable of navigating the real world in a human-like manner.”

Okay, the bots are not ‘really’ intelligent and language is much harder to crack. But still, it’s a nice result, this  human thinks.  

via Diigo http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn22305-mimicry-beats-consciousness-in-gamings-turing-test.html

How artificial intelligence is changing our lives – CSMonitor.com

“The idea that AI must mimic the thinking process of humans has dropped away. “Creating artificial intelligences that are like humans is, at the end of the day, paving the cow paths,” Mr. Saffo argues. “It’s using the new technology to imitate some old thing.””
via Diigo http://www.csmonitor.com/Innovation/Tech/2012/0916/How-artificial-intelligence-is-changing-our-lives/(page)/3