AI and Human Nature
Melanie Lewis, Deputy Head T and L - 20th November 2023
Artificial intelligence (AI) is rising in prominence in the world, and will only continue to do so for decades to come.
IBM identifies AI in its simplest form as systems which combines computer science and robust datasets, to enable problem-solving. The release of Open AI’s Chat GPT has marked a turning point for AI. This chatbot has the ability for language processing and creating generative models that can code and problem solve for a wide range of daily business and personal functions. Some sections of society even believe that as Chat GPT develops it may even replace Google, as its sophisticated systems go beyond the provision of information to provision of solutions for real-time problems. People of my generation will be aware of the difference that moving from encyclopaedias to search engines such as Google made in our lives. Similarly, for the children we teach, AI will have a comparable impact on their lives.
As society becomes more technological, however, I cannot help but believe how relevant our school’s values of Family, Flair and Freedom are. There are some things that AI will never be able to capture and that is our humanness. Creating opportunities to become more creative as work becomes more programmed lies at the heart of our curriculum redesign. Year 3 are learning about rainforests and how their degradation affects the entire world’s atmosphere and things they can do right here in Newbury to prevent this atmospheric degradation.
Last week, year 7 and 8 pupils, under the guidance of Mrs. Kate Adlam, created bird feeders using pine cones, lard and bird seed to ensure that wild life continues to be preserved, especially during challenging winter months. I was touched by the kindness shown by two of our pupils who together cut a total of 28 inches of their hair to donate to charities for sick children. As my Year 8 class was introduced to the daunting quadratic formula, a question worth significant amount of marks on Scholarship papers, we used the traditional Christmas carol Jingle Bells to create a joyful atmosphere for learning while ensuring the formula’s retrieval at later dates.
This is just a snapshot of what we are doing here at Horris Hill. We remain mindful that as we help children become more empathetic, set tasks that spark creativity, and develop learning opportunities for them to use their own cognition to make informed decisions, we are setting them up to remain ahead of the AI curve by helping them to excel at being human.