Content-type: text/html Downes.ca ~ Stephen's Web ~ Why Not To Buy My New Book On Generative AI

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

I've been reading this book by Julian Stodd, Sae Schatz, and Geoff Stead this morning - it's available for free online (194 page PDF). The content isn't new to me, but that isn't surprising - I've been immersed in the same material for a long time. But it's very well written and would make a great text introducing people to the idea of AI and learning. In particular, I can't help but enjoy turns of phrase that suggest a deep knowledge of the topic even if it is being discussed at an introductory level. Like: "Generative AI can produce any type of digital artefact that humans can make." Think about that for a second. Or, "It's difficult to accept that language – something so deeply connected to our consciousness and cultures – can be reduced to a mathematical routine." The authors capture both the fact of the matter and our visceral reaction to it in a single sentence. "Our lenses lie shattered. Our perception of truth is in decay." Once we begin to get that, we can in some way start working our way forward. "Ironically, we'll need to rely on the Engines – those same innovations that antagonise the concept of truth – to prepare and equip us for traversing this 'post-truth' landscape."

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
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Last Updated: May 18, 2024 7:33 p.m.

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