Content-type: text/html Downes.ca ~ Stephen's Web ~ 5 questions schools and universities should ask before they purchase AI tech products

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

Opinion piece originally posted for The Conversation. I agree we should ask questions about what technology we use, but these aren't the questions I'd ask (these are). Why? First, not all things solve problems - indeed, the best technology creates affordances rather than solving problems. Second, what 'works' is very much in the eye of the beholder; the best you can ask is whether it does what they say it does. Third, it doesn't matter whether educators and students developed the product; they are not product design specialists, and rarely see beyond their own immediate needs. Fourth, the idea that 'educational beliefs' shape products is mythical; most educational theory isn't sufficiently well developed to actually be applied in product development. Finally, the question of whether a product 'levels the playing field' is a matter of application, not product design (as was once stated in Star Trek, if we had matter replicators that could solve hunger in today's society, they would not solve hunger because there would have to be a business model and expectations of profit).

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: Jun 14, 2024 12:59 a.m.

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