January 30


The Thing About AI

You've probably heard about ChatGPT. The free-to-use artificial intelligence chatbot.

It's scary what it can do.

So naturally, I tried pushing it so see when it would break.

The other day, I wrote in, "Please write me a short story starring Barney the Dinosaur that's based on the endings of Interstellar, Back to the Future 2, The Notebook, Toy Story 4, and A Christmas Carol."

And the thing did it. In a matter of seconds.

Was it an amazing read? Not really.

But, it checked all the boxes faster than I could if I had a week to come up with even a starting place.

As expected, teachers are freaking out over it. And kids have already tried using it to write their papers.

The teachers' response? 

Most are talking about changing how they give their assignments. Doing away with essays. Having students write their drafts in the classroom. Replacing essays with oral presentations. That kind of thing.

Sadly, as teachers, we're collectively missing out on an opportunity.

AI is not going away.

(Side note: I'm glad this generation now has its "Wi-Fi." As in, when they have kids, they'll say, "Back in my day, you couldn't push a button and have all your research done and problems solved for you." Just like I say, "Back in my day, you had to plug your computer into a phone jack to access the internet.")

Ahem...so yeah...AI is not going away. Instead of preventing students from using it, we should be teaching them how to handle it responsibly. And teaching them the ethics of using AI responsibly.

After all, it is a resource. But, like telling any child with inhibition problems to "not push the red button," what do you think they're going to do when you tell them they can't use it?

And when it comes to college students, it's just silly to worry about it.

I mean, think about it. If you pay $50,000 a year for school, and you decide to use AI to write your papers for you in the field your career will be in - who's the one getting shortchanged?

We're seeing some interesting changes in information technologies.

The choice we have now is whether to run from it and see what the fallout is...

...or to explore it for all of its possibilities...

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About Jonathan Roberts

I am the founder and director of the South Shore Piano School, and I have been teaching the piano for nearly 20 years. My work centers around bringing music to the lives of kids, parents, and adults in an enriching, meaningful way. At the South Shore Piano School, my incredible colleagues and I accomplish this through skill-based teaching, community, and an innovative, people-first business model. You can read more about me here.


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