After remote learning exposed how radical the curriculum in many school districts had become, President Joe Biden’s Education Department (ED) is speaking out about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its potential to make teachers’ jobs “nearly impossible.”
The economic and societal detriments of COVID are bound to have lasting negative impacts, but a noted positive that emerged from draconian lockdowns was the widespread extent to which parents became privy to the radical ideologies being spoon-fed to their children.
Now, as technology, medical and spiritual leaders caution against AI’s “existential threat to humanity,” educators are once again flaunting their self-centered priorities through a new ED report.
Released Wednesday from their Office of Educational Technology (OET), the “Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Teaching and Learning: Insights and Recommendations” report predicted the struggles that teachers would face from “increased surveillance” via AI tools.
“When we enable a voice assistant in the kitchen it might help us with simple household tasks like setting a cooking timer. And yet the same voice assistant might hear things that we intended to be private,” the report stated of things said within the confines of government-run, i.e. public, schools. “This kind of dilemma will occur in classrooms and for teachers.”
“When they enable an AI-assistant to capture data about what they say, what teaching resources they search for, or other behaviors, the data could be used to personalize resources and recommendations for the teacher,” the finding suggested highlighting a potential positive.
“Yet the same data might also be used to monitor the teacher, and that monitoring might have consequences for the teacher,” the report cautioned. “Achieving trustworthy AI that makes teachers’ jobs better will be nearly impossible if teachers experience increased surveillance.”
As previously reported, billionaire Elon Musk wasn’t alone in seeking a pause to the development of AI systems as medical and global health policy experts warned, “The ability of AI to rapidly clean, organise and analyse massive data sets consisting of personal data, including images collected by the increasingly ubiquitous presence of cameras” would facilitate a totalitarian takeover.
Growing number of experts, professionals agree that AI is ‘existential threat to humanity’https://t.co/2cxX86Xwz2
— American Wire News (@americanwire_) May 10, 2023
While those concerns seemed to be about the greater good of society, the concerns voiced by the Biden administration seemed strictly geared toward the job security of teachers as demonstrated by another portion of the 61-page report that stated, “Some teachers worry that they may be replaced — to the contrary, the Department firmly rejects the idea that AI could replace teachers.”
“At no point do we intend to imply that AI can replace a teacher, a guardian, or an educational leader as the custodian of their students’ learning,” it contested.
The inclusion of such assurances in the report was ironic considering the president’s own stated position that children don’t belong to their parents, but rather society as a whole.
“They’re all our children,” he said in April at the Teacher of the Year ceremony. “And the reason you’re the teachers of the year is because you recognize that. They’re not somebody else’s children. They’re like yours when they’re in the classroom.”
New York City’s Department of Education had already banned the use of AI in classrooms after they asserted, “While the tool may be able to provide quick and easy answers to questions, it does not build critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, which are essential for academic and lifelong success.”
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