That is the topic of my latest Bloomberg column. Here is the first part of the argument: Two kinds of AI-driven education are likely to take off, and they will have very different effects. Both approaches have real promise, but neither will make everyone happy. The first category will resemble learning platforms such as Khan Academy,
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That is the topic of my latest Bloomberg column. Here is the first part of the argument:
Two kinds of AI-driven education are likely to take off, and they will have very different effects. Both approaches have real promise, but neither will make everyone happy.
The first category will resemble learning platforms such as Khan Academy, Duolingo, GPT-4, and many other services. Over time, these sources will become more multimedia, quicker in response, deeper in their answers, and better at in creating quizzes, exercises and other feedback. For those with a highly individualized learning style — preferring videos to text, say, or wanting lessons slower or faster — the AIs will oblige. The price will be relatively low; Khan Academy currently is free and GPT-4 costs $20 a month, and those markets will become more competitive.
For those who want it, they will be able to access a kind of universal tutor as envisioned by Neal Stephenson in his novel The Diamond Age. But how many people will really want to go this route? My guess is that it will be a clear minority of the population, well below 50%, whether at younger or older age groups…
Chatbots will probably make education more fun, but for most people there is a limit to just how fun instruction can be.
And the second part:
There is, however, another way AI education could go — and it may end up far more widespread, even if it makes some people uneasy. Imagine a chatbot programmed to be your child’s friend. It would be exactly the kind of friend your kid wants, even (you hope) the kind of friend your kid needs. Your child might talk with this chatbot for hours each day.
Over time, these chatbots would indeed teach children valuable things, including about math and science. But it would happen slowly, subtly. When I was in high school, I had two close (human) friends with whom I often talked economics. We learned a lot from each other, but we were friends first and foremost, and the conversations grew out of that. As it turns out, all three of us ended up becoming professional economists.
This could be the path the most popular and effective AI chatbots follow: the “friendship first” model. Under that scenario, an AI chatbot doesn’t have to be more fun than spending time with friends, because it is itself a kind of friend. Through a kind of osmosis, the child could grow interested in some topics raised by the AI chatbot, and the chatbot could feed the child more information and inspiration in those areas. But friendship would still come first.
Worth a ponder.
Education, Uncategorized, Web/Tech