May 8th, 2013

What Happens?

Audrey Watters:

What does it means to tell our students that we’re actually not going to read their papers, but we’re going to scan them and a computer will analyze them instead? What happens when we encourage students to express themselves in such a way that appeases the robot essay graders rather than a human audience? What happens when we discourage creative expression?

Robot graders raise all sorts of questions about thinking machines and thinking humans, about self-expression and creativity, about the purpose of writing, the purpose of writing assignments, the purpose of education, and the ethics of education technology and of robots in the classroom.

And what are the implications of automating the teaching and learning process? Why does efficiency matter so much? Why do we want the messy and open-ended process of inquiry standardized, scaled, or automated? What will all of this artificial intelligence drive us to do about human intelligence?

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