Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ How AI Shapes the Future of Critical Thinking

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

This article isn't particularly well written but I've kept it in the bin because it advances an idea that is probably commonplace but incorrect: that "AI isn't designed to replace human critical thinking." By 'critical thinking' we're not talking about 'detecting false statements' - an AI will need to be able to refer to a store of facts and data to do that. Rather, critical thinking is (more or less) "the capacity to question, evaluate, and reflect on previously held beliefs; it's the ability to recognize ambiguity and make informed judgments and decisions." We could say that critical thinking (a) detects patterns in  reasoning, and (b) distinguishes good patterns from bad patterns. Both of these (pattern recognition, and classification) are core functions of AI. I would expect (over time and with more training) our AI systems to excel at critical thinking, to the point where we will be able to offer arguments or lines of reasoning as prompts and receive an analysis and criticism of that thinking in return.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: May 20, 2024 03:33 a.m.

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