If you scan the headlines below, you’ll get a sense for the dynamic range of human reaction to AI’s continued presence in our world. It feels chaotic because it is. But much like a pendulum in motion, that range shrinks in time ever so much with each repetition. We adapt as we get used to new phenomena—whether it’s our psyches simply catching up or the novelty of something like ChatGPT wearing off. Except, as we have established before and know implicitly, that novelty will get refreshed by the technology improving itself until a day comes when we no longer can contribute. It’s reminiscent of that Rubicon we all passed in our younger years when our parents were no longer able to help us with our homework. In spite of the technologists that are naysayers, there’s a threshold coming when AI components will likely be more self-sufficient than we can possibly fathom. Though The Singularity may be coming, but we are definitively not there yet.
In our current evolution, there’s a proclivity knit into our imaginations to predict the end of the world, the beginning of eternity, or some other realm beyond the one we’ve known. But right now, the onus continues to be on us to take all these findings and projections in aggregate and realize that while the software is improving itself, we too need to embrace a new kind of self-improvement. We can ideate upon how to work with AI, expecting this agency from what some have called humankind’s final invention, and reevaluate what mindsets and skills we need to instill in our younger successors.
This is our vocation as educators—recognizing the context and predicting the future as best as possible, we determine what we need to learn and make a segmented and balanced plan to achieve that learning. By focusing our efforts on the most influential levers of policymakers and developers, together we can shape a new sort of self-improvement that accounts for what we’re discovering now and plan accordingly. This is the disposition we as educators are preternaturally able to model for the world no differently than we do for the students in our charge.
The Week In Review: