Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ The human nature of generative AIs and the technological nature of humanity: implications for education

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

I love "warts-and-all raw first submissions". They're the most honest; they haven't been edited down to an unreasonably short length, and the individuality hasn't been ironed out of them. In this paper (16 page PDF) Jon Dron "applies the co-participation model that underpins How Education Works (and a number of my papers over the last few years) to generative AIs (GAIs)." If you don't have a lot time, at the very least, read section 2, which is as concise a statement as any of Dron's overall approach to the subject, and also some of the best writing of his that I have seen. Also, I'm mostly in agreement with it. Less so with section 3, but there are still good bits, like this: "The meanings we give to 'intelligence' or 'creativity' are social constructions representing dynamic and contextually shifting values, not fixed natural phenomenon like the boiling point of water or gravity." Section 4 deftly sets out the challenge: "The tacit, implicit and hidden curricula are not just side-effects of education but part of its central purpose." Quite so (and this is where content-focused pedagogies like direct instruction fail so critically). Section 5 feels boilerplate to me (I want to compare it to the last section of my Ethics paper, but perhaps that's unfair).

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: May 30, 2024 12:02 a.m.

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