Calculators spawned several generations of people who still can't make change without their electronic device. Cellphones spawned several generations of people who can't read a map or spell. Okay, those skills may be unnecessary now. But as long as writing ability remains the single most important skill for a career in science, having an AI write your essays is a big mistake. Essay assignments in English should be like, "Write an essay of at least N words on a subject that matters to you." If you must dictate a topic, just point out that the grade will depend on relevance to the most recent course material. Writing is not an exercise; it's self-discovery!

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I strongly disagree with your argument here; essays are not assigned to teach topics, they are assigned to teach the art of communication via the written word. Learning how to organize thoughts into an essay form also guides students towards rational thinking and how to distinguish between effective and ineffective argumentation.

The use of GPT-3 or any other automated text generator will continue to fail students, who will learn nothing more than how to avoid work and depend on machines to "think" for them. The fact is that a question such as the one you propose does require reasoning and foster learning:

1. An essay requires detailed, specific answers to questions. This requires students to use recall or do research.

2. An essay has a strict form, word count, paragraph or page count, or time limit in which the student must articulate the information while making an argument for or against it's relevance to her answer. This requires mastery of the written word, grammar, punctuation, and brevity.

3. The student must learn or understand some principles of rhetoric to make a plausible or passionate argument.

These are all goals of the essay. Using a pessimistic view of education to support AI technology is a shockingly lackadaisical, backhanded swipe at the future well-being of millions of young people. Fixing broken systems requires more than technical Band-Aids. Worse, it's absolutely the worst argument for the use of AI there is . . . "your teachers are lazy, so it's a fine idea to allow the students to be lazy as well."

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Neuroplasticity changes this perspective. While the adult brain is considered to be fully developed and stable until senescence, when its size progressively decreases, such stability seems at odds with constant human (knowledgeable/intellectual) development throughout life. These changes are related to intelligence. So, if you replace brain plasticity/flexibility with AI, e.g., to facilitate assays to students, you are compromising the required cognitive training needed to develop the brain. If AI does not allow students to challenge themselves in the art of communication, their brain plasticity (which should be growing) is compromised. Children/students are developing, growing, and learning; their brains are no exception.

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Insightful & thought provoking post!

"These are deep and long-standing problems with our educational system. AI tools didn’t create them and banning their use by students won’t solve them."

I wouldn’t use that argument support AI-generated homework.

If you are unable to prepare good food because you are low on resources or time, you (or your provider) should invent ways to work on your shortcomings.

The last thing you would do would be to bring in a chef who cooks instant fast food with no guarantees about health, and provides no way to evaluate what made him the chef he professes to be.

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Is Kervin's management style effective?why or why not?

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Completely agree. I wrote a related post on Medium: https://link.medium.com/hGRUrSeblub

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I just want to point out one thing as an ardent lover of your writing the examples and analogies that you provide to drive home the points is excellent.

I recall one of your tweets maybe where you compared AI with vehicle / cars and how design of cars evolve with time and they made it less accident prone likewise the evolution of AI... Note that this blog has one very catchy analogy as well -- "usage of calculators".

It was a good read. Thanks.

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