“Reading these studies, it seems like there are a few clear conclusions: AI can generate creative ideas in real-life, practical situations. It can also help people generate better ideas. The ideas AI generates are better than what most people can come up with, but very creative people will beat the AI (at least for now), and may benefit less from using AI to generate ideas. There is more underlying similarity in the ideas that the current generation of AIs produce than among ideas generated by a large number of humans. All of this suggests that humans still have a large role to play in innovation… but that they would be foolish not to include AI in that process, especially if they don’t consider themselves highly creative.”
“The Stanford Deliberative Democracy Lab, in collaboration with Helena and various partners has conducted a national Deliberative Poll® to determine what Americans would really think about possible reforms to our democracy and our electoral processes if they had a chance to weigh the options under good conditions… What would Americans really think if they could discuss the issues in depth in moderated small group discussions with fellow citizens, if they had access to vetted and balanced briefing materials, and if they could get their questions answered by panels of competing experts representing different points of view? NORC at the University of Chicago convened a national sample of nearly 600 deliberators and a separate control group to consider reform proposals from across the political spectrum.”
“The movement for high academic standards—determinations of what students should know and be able to do across subjects and grade levels—promised to center teaching and learning on common themes across schools and raise expectations for all students. Standards have shaped the teaching and learning landscape in American schools, dictating everything from curriculum content to assessment design. They have also been, and continue to be, a site of controversy and political battles… In this explainer, Education Week breaks down what standards are, how they have come to occupy such a central place in the U.S. education system, and how they have—and have not—changed instructional practice and student outcomes.”
“Moment to moment feedback may be enough to motivate deep engagement.”
““It’s the best medicine we can recommend: Just going out for a walk,” said Dr. Randal Thomas, a preventive cardiology specialist at the Mayo Clinic who was not involved with the study.”
“I interviewed dozens of independent scientists studying respiratory health whom I’ve known for years, and they all agreed that schools should primarily do two things.”
“A personality of a leader that might work in one situation might be exactly the wrong personality in another situation.”
“Mr. Peters was broke six years ago, with less than $400 in his checking account after his contracting business slowed down. Then he responded to a help-wanted ad looking for workers to install solar panels, which were becoming more popular in Tulsa. He now employs 61 workers and has $18 million in annual sales. “The environmental benefits are nice,” he said, “but most people are doing this for the financial opportunity.””
“Mr. Leach has since encouraged other farmers to install solar panels. “I’ve had several friends of mine that were, you know, not necessarily trying to save the planet,” he said. “They just wanted to save money.””
“Standing in their way are environmental groups and local residents, all of whom are committed to a clean energy future and worried about the rapid warming of the earth. Still, they want the state to pick a different site for its so-called wind port, citing the tranquillity of Sears Island and its popularity and accessibility as a recreation destination.”
“For me, the best way to make sense of AI is to use it. These tools are powerful, but they are imperfect. They have enormous potentials and pitfalls for our world, but the tools available to most of us are accessible and easy to use. They are already doing amazingly sophisticated work in fields like medicine and technology and business, but they also have simple and practical applications in our day-to-day lives. Open up a chatbot like ChatGPT or Bing or Bard or Claude and give a few of the below ideas a try. All of these tools are free to use (sometimes with limits).”
“Do large language models understand the world? As a scientist and engineer, I’ve avoided asking whether an AI system “understands” anything. There’s no widely agreed-upon, scientific test for whether a system really understands — as opposed to appearing to understand — just as no such tests exist for consciousness or sentience, as I discussed in an earlier letter. This makes the question of understanding a matter of philosophy rather than science. But with this caveat, I believe that LLMs build sufficiently complex models of the world that I feel comfortable saying that, to some extent, they do understand the world.”
“Forget about school essays. Think of the next American presidential race in 2024, and try to imagine the impact of ai tools that can be made to mass-produce political content, fake-news stories and scriptures for new cults… The catch is that it is utterly pointless for us to spend time trying to change the declared opinions of an ai bot, while the ai could hone its messages so precisely that it stands a good chance of influencing us.”
Every week I send out articles I encounter from around the web. Subject matter ranges from hard knowledge about teaching to research about creativity and cognitive science to stories from other industries that, by analogy, inform what we do as educators. This breadth helps us see our work in new ways.
Readers include teachers, school leaders, university overseers, conference organizers, think tank workers, startup founders, nonprofit leaders, and people who are simply interested in what’s happening in education. They say it helps them keep tabs on what matters most in the conversation surrounding schools, teaching, learning, and more.
– Peter Nilsson