Welcome to Sensemaking, AI, and Learning (SAIL): a weekly look at AI trends and technologies. I'm at ASU-GSV Summit in San Diego this week. Hardly surprising - AI "is the thing behind everything". It's a rare conversation or panel presentation where AI doesn't become a topic. A few years ago, I was involved in a project with Harvard's LILA group where we were exploring leadership development. Whenever the conversation turned to AI, it become the dominant discussion, in ways that was often counter productive. AI took all the oxygen out of the room. For many, however, the actual experience of AI was muted. Obviously AI was processing all sorts of things in the background of their lives (from email to banking security to places to eat to friend recommendations on social media), but a look at "what do you intentionally do with AI each day" yielded limited results. There were small discrete task tools (like Grammarly), but nothing significant beyond that. As GPT-3 gained attention, a growing suite of tools became available (i.e. Jasper, Moonbeam). Even then, the prospect of AI was a dominant conversation but without much substance.
Today, that has changed. From my perspective, AI is the most important thing for universities to understand: what it is, how to build literacies in faculty and students, how it impacts what and how we teach and learn, how it impacts society, etc. I remain shocked that universities are being rather cavalier with a technology that is the most transformative they will have ever encountered. (Disclaimer, in case it's not obvious: I believe AI will dramatically and systemically impact universities and change a balance of power in education and give technology companies a big on ramp to selling services to higher education. I also believe that vision is the critical missing piece and we urgently need leadership development programs).
Glossary of AI terms in education - great resource to bookmark
We are hosting an in-person workshop in Denver July 13. Info here. If you're registering, and your institution is a GRAILE member, please let me know and I'll share a discount code.
America is falling out of love with college. AI will greatly amplify the college tensions around money, value, benefit, need.
Understanding large language models. An excellent resource - readable and important.
Creativity - one of the best explanations I've heard of a musician (or anyone) pushing through to creativity.
AI in Education: an EU report from late 2022
Musk starts a new AI company. Everyone should have at least one.
Amazon enters the generative AI landscape. Now we're just waiting on Apple
Remembering loved ones. This is a bridge too far for me - no real interest in AI interactions with voice and image of loved ones who have passed.
AI will radically change society – we need radical ideas to match it "How would you design the society of 20 years’ time, after AI has become commonplace, if you had no idea of your race, gender, age or education?" A variation of Rawls' distributive justice thought experiment.
A counter point to the AI Pause Letter, from DAIR: "The harms from so-called AI are real and present and follow from the acts of people and corporations deploying automated systems. Regulatory efforts should focus on transparency, accountability and preventing exploitative labor practices."
AI has much to offer humanity. It could also wreak terrible harm. It must be controlled "It’s in no country’s interest for any country to develop and release AI systems we cannot control. Insisting on sensible precautions is not anti-industry."