Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.
- Jurassic Park
“Researchers at Facebook shut down an artificial intelligence (AI) program after it created its own language” the Epoch Times reports. The article described Facebook’s attempt to create AI and the sequential disagreement between Tesla’s Elon Musk and founder Mark Zuckerberg.
If you’ve read Robopocalypse by Daniel Wilson, you understand that the idea of AI developing its own language can be simply terrifying. We won’t ruin the book for you (please read it), but, needless to say, its subject matter is increasingly relevant as the emergence of AI is no longer something of the distant future.
Elon Musk is calling for proactive regulation for AI; Mark Zuckerberg disagrees. SET believes that this is a perfect example of the necessity of apply critical thinking to new technologies. Encouraging students to think about how they use technology is a critical skill that transcends generations. As educators, it is important that we foster conversations to address the following questions:
- What new technologies (devices and apps) are you using, and how did you learn about them?
- Does this new technology help make your life better, and, if so, why?
- Does this new technology create stress in your life, and, if so, why?
- Does this new technology make the world a better place? Why or why not?
- Are there any short or long term repercussions to using this technology for you or your community?
By giving students examples of emerging technology (like AI) and encouraging them to discuss the implications of technology in their own lives, teachers can motivate students to be thoughtful around how, when, and why they use new technologies. We are helping our students be critical consumers and masters of technology; let’s ensure that they remain conscious to the many benefits and risks technology presents.