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Posts Tagged ‘ai

I read this article, Sesame Workshop and IBM team up to test a new A.I.-powered teaching method, with critical optimism.

After reading the article, I still wondered if the AI was actually adapting to how kids learn or if it was learning how to teach as an adult would. The former focuses on learning while the latter is about teaching.

Teaching and learning are not synonymous. Ideally and intentionally, effective teaching should lead to meaningful learning. However, teaching does not guarantee learning. Let me illustrate.

The article claimed that:

kindergarteners learned words like “arachnid,” “amplify,” “camouflage,” and “applause,” which are typically considered above their grade level.

Kids were taught these words, but did they really learn to use these words in contexts that were meaningful to them? Will they retain and use the words appropriately in future?

My son learnt “chela” and “carapace” in kindergarten. I only learnt these as a Biology major in university. Today he cannot recall those terms or even learning them. However, those terms are etched in my memory even though I have not taught Biology in over 20 years.

I argue that my son was taught those terms, but only I learnt them. It is one thing to teach for short-term gain and retention. It is entirely another to design for long-term and meaningful learning.

If we teach AI the wrong way, then artificial intelligence will have another meaning. It will be about “learning” that is meaningless, superficial, and fleeting.

Video source

That’s a phrase that was never really uttered by Sherlock Holmes. Watson is also a supercomputer that is competing against champions in the gameshow, Jeopardy.

I found the video at Gizmodo and a commenter there provided this higher quality version.

Some might say, “Be afraid, be very afraid!” But only if you like overreacting or live in a movie world.

Sure, machines will get more intelligent. Why do you think we call that device in our pocket or bag a smartphone? But all Watson is doing now is brute force factual recall. It’s reactions will be faster, it will learn more quickly and it won’t fatigue.

What is fantastic is Watson’s ability to recognize and process language. The day of being able to talk to computers like we talk to people is closer.

Dig a little deeper and you will find IBM’s development of Watson.

Video source


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