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An Edifying Thought on AI
One of the biggest headaches for teachers is reading and grading homework. After a stressful day at school, they return home to a pile (or these days, a digital dropbox) full of papers. How tempting it must be to let an AI read, summarize, and possibly even grade those papers. That’s what technology is for, after all—to eliminate tedious labor.
On the student end, it is no secret that a lot of students are using Chat GPT to write their papers for them. Ask Chat GPT to “make the case that Athens was doomed to lose the Peloponnesian War,” and viola, there is your paper. No longer must students endure the tedium of writing papers on subjects they really don’t care about.
This a wonderful development. AI is both writing and reading the student’s papers, with no human involvement whatsoever. In time, we might hope that education will be fully automated. Humans can sit on the sidelines and let the machines do all that dull teaching and learning.
I had a similar idea when I read that Google is unveiling tools to help users write and edit emails, with the appropriate tone and content, as well as to write documents in Google Docs. This is great. And, because no one will be able to cope with the vast expansion of written content that will inundate us thanks to these tools, we will soon start using AI to read our emails and documents as well. Text will be flying back and forth, but no human will read it. The AIs will do it for us.
The future is bright. AI will help us produce orders of magnitude more words, pictures, and video, and then also help us consume it. It will write entire annual reports, white papers, news articles, and academic papers that no one will ever read. You might ask, if no one ever reads them, why should we produce all this verbiage in the first place? I’m disappointed that you asked. The new content will be higher quality than the old, especially as the technology progresses. We will have more and better information, and thankfully, we will have AI to read it.
I hope that was edifying. Sometime in the next week or so I’m going to post a trialogue on AI that I engaged in with a couple of other philosophers. I promise that its intellectual cogency will equal, if not surpass, that of the above observations.
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