Donald Clark Plan B

Brains - 10 deep flaws and why AI may be the fix #Ai #edtech #LT17uk

  • Finally have enough time to attend, read, post, listen, watch and speak on anything I want to.
  • Collaborative AI is learning from shared experience – collective intelligence is and it’s terrifying
  • Our brains are networks the most complex networks we know of, and artificial intelligence uses that same (or similar) networked power to interact with our brains.
  • 6. Brains can’t upload and download Brains can’t upload and download.
  • Learning; deep learning, fast learning and machine learning is progressing fast and promises to deliver an alternative world of learnt skills on an unimaginable scale.


@DonaldClark: Brains – 10 deep flaws and why AI may be the fix #Ai #edtech #LT17uk

Artificial suggests something not real. As a word it lies in direct opposition to what is real. It suggests something unnatural, a mere imitation. This dash of the pejoration debases the concept. This lies behind many of the dystopian attitudes many have towards AI. Rather like artificial grass or artificial limbs, AI successes, no matter how astonishing, feel as though they are second-rate and inferior. An even stronger pejorative suggestion is the idea that it is fake or counterfeit, the ‘artificial’ as something feigned or bogus. As the word explicitly compares the abilities of man and machine, brains and computers, anthropomorphic judgements tend to sneak in. It defines the field as simply copying what humans or human brains do, whereas it tends to do things that are very different. The human brain may not be the benchmark here. Man may not be the measurement of the machine. 

Neophobia, fear of the new, is not new. No doubt some wag in some cave was asking their kids to ‘put those axes away, they’ll be the death of you’. From Socrates, who thought that writing was an ill-advised invention, people have reacted with predictable horror to every piece of new technology that hits the street. It happened with writing, parchments, books, printing, newspapers, coffee houses, letters, telegraph, telephone, radio, film, TV, railways, cars, jazz, rock n’ roll, rap, computers, the internet, social media and now artificial intelligence. The idea that some new invention rots the mind, devalues the culture, even destroys civilisation is an age-old phenomenon.

Neophobia exaggerates the role of technology. Have we ‘become the tool of our tools’, as Thoreau would have us believe? There is something in this, as recent research suggests that tool production in the early evolution of our species played a significant role in cognitive development and our adaptive advantage as a species. So far, so good. But far from shaping minds, the more recent internet is largely being shaped by minds. Social media has flourished in response to a human need for user-generated content, social communication and sharing. Input devices have become increasingly sensitive to human ergonomics and cognitive expectations, especially natural language processing through voice.

We humans have a different but no less debilitating problem – our brains. We literally have to spend up to 20 years or more in classrooms being painstakingly taught by other humans to acquire knowledge and skills. Even then, it’s only a start on the long road that is lifelong learning. That’s because we cannot efficiently transfer knowledge and skills directly from one brain to another. It cannot be uploaded and downloaded. In addition to this limitation, we forget most of what we are taught, sleep 8 hours a day, are largely inattentive for much of the remaining 16 hours, get ill and die. Artificial intelligence has none of these constraints.

The theory of connectivism, proposed by Stephen Downes and George Siemens posits ‘Connectivism’, as a theory where “knowledge is distributed across a network of connections, and therefore that learning consists of the ability to construct and traverse those networks”. It is an alternative to behaviourism, cognitivism and constructionism. ‘Connectivism’ focuses on the connections, not the meanings or structures connected across networks. Intelligence, existing and acquired, is the practices, by both teachers and learners, that result in the formation and use of effective networks with properties such as diversity, autonomy, openness, and connectivity. This challenges the existing paradigms, that do not take into account the explosion of network technology, as well as presenting a new perspective on collective use and intelligence. Connectivism can also be used to bring in newer technological advances and newer agents – such as artificial intelligence.

Donald Clark Plan B