- Me: "I am trying to find a metaphor that describes the feeling when you realize that most of your learning over many years is now becoming obsolete."
- AI: "One possible metaphor for the feeling of realizing that one's hard-earned knowledge is becoming obsolete could be "watching a beautiful sandcastle wash away in the tide." This metaphor evokes the idea of something that was carefully built and treasured being swept away by forces beyond one's control, and also suggests a sense of nostalgia and loss."
I know what is going to happen, and it is not good. Higher ed will start fighting another losing battle. We will look for algorithms to detect the use of AI. We will proctor exams, and make students write with pen and pencil. We will regress back to multiple choice testing, etc. This happens every time. As soon as the real-world changes and asks for something else, we keep teaching the old things, because that is what we have been doing before.
What should happen is something completely different. We need to reimagine how writing in real life will now happen with the help of AI. We need to explicitly teach our students how to use the AI in an ethical way, but also enjoy the potential for increased productivity. And finally, we should find forms of assessment that are not focused on originality of the text, but rather on originality of ideas. Some of the sacred cows, like learning APA format of references, is completely irrelevant now. The AI can fix your references in a second or flip them into another format. It is not a relevant skill anymore, like lighting fire with flintstone is not. Things like editing for grammar, summarizing the argument, or basic lit search are among those irrelevant skills. Therefore, we should spend more time on original, creative, and independent thinking. The question is, how do we do it?
I suspect it is still back to the Bloom's taxonomy. Evaluating and creating knowledge are still the higher goals. However, the definitions of evaluations and creating the new will change. New knowledge will not amount to new text. The quality of new knowledge will not be reduced to proper writing, or even include it.
No one is sure what is going to happen, but one thing is for certain. The world is changing.
So I asked the AI, if it thinks AI will change the world of work. Here is the response. It maybe a little biased, and terribly boring, but I must agree:
“AI has the potential to greatly impact the world of work. AI-powered automation, machine learning, and natural language processing are already being used in many industries to automate repetitive tasks, improve decision-making, and increase efficiency.
In the short-term, AI has the potential to automate many jobs, which could lead to job displacement. However, it also has the potential to create new jobs and make existing jobs more efficient and enjoyable.
In the long-term, AI has the potential to significantly change the nature of work, as well as the skills that are in demand. Companies will likely seek employees with skills in areas such as data analysis, machine learning, and software development to help them take advantage of AI technologies.
AI has the potential to improve productivity and create new opportunities for growth and innovation. However, it will also require a significant shift in the way we think about work and the skills that are needed to succeed in the future. It is important for governments, businesses, and educational institutions to work together to ensure that the benefits of AI are widely shared and that everyone has the opportunity to develop the skills they need to thrive in the new economy.”