chatgpt: ChatGPT: Can Artificial Intelligence really replace teachers?

chatgpt: ChatGPT: Can Artificial Intelligence really replace teachers?

Last week, dialog-based artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot ChatGPT took the internet by storm. The bot has the ability to understand natural language and respond in natural language with impressive precision and creativity.

Despite its limitations, it is exciting and scary at the same time. So far, this is the closest demonstration of machines imitating humans, even becoming better than us. This is also the scary part.

Although ChatGPT has its limitations, it will learn quickly. That’s the nature of machine learning (ML) – it gets exponentially better over time as the interactions with humans increase. Many industries are going to be disrupted with this technology. But the first and most obvious one would be education.

Homework essays and coding assessments are now irrelevant. ChatGPT and its successors will bring out personalized essays on any topic. This essay will pass any plagiarism checker because it is indeed ‘original’. Given the structured nature of computer languages, chatbots are excellent code generators, code explainers and debuggers. Very basic coding can now be easily done by AI. When it comes to education, teachers need to reinvent themselves. They are no longer the experts in the classroom. Until now, it was a search engine like Google that challenged them. But a search engine can at best answer factual questions that provide references. Teachers beat search engines by flipping the classroom, using plagiarism checkers, and giving open-ended assessments that require original thinking.

AI-based natural language chatbots are very advanced. They will become our own personal omniscient teachers available to us all the time. The chatbot can access vast amounts of information, make inferences from it and create persuasive arguments in a personalized way based on human input.

When a student can learn better by interacting with the chatbot, what does the teacher do? He or she will need to learn the purpose of learning, what is worth learning and how to learn. This means turning our teachers into ‘meta-teachers’ for which they will need to be trained.

The nature of jobs will also change – training machines and helping them become better. This is where the competitive advantage of companies will lie. This implies creating new data sets as input to machines and giving feedback to the machine about the output to help improve it. This will change the nature of employment and add another type of job category – people who help machines learn and become better than competing machines.

Just as in every disruptive technology before it, there will be denial, skepticism and ultimately acceptance. Those who adapt early will lead. It is difficult to predict the amount of jobs that will be generated or destroyed. But every job will definitely integrate machine assistance to get better. The extreme case would be a role reversal – humans assisting machines.

Our education system must take this reality into account. AI and ML can no longer be a course for computer science and engineering students alone. Every student must learn this field of science because every profession will integrate it and society will be shaped by it. Any new app, including ChatGPT, may seem exciting for a period of time and then fade away. But we cannot deny the underlying technology behind the app – AI. ChatGPT just gave us a glimpse of what’s to come. We need to go back to the basics: what makes us human, why do we learn, what is worth learning and how do we learn. With this shift in mindset, we will assimilate technological changes and use them for our collective good, rather than being overwhelmed by them.

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