Faculty member David Williamson Shaffer of the School of Education recently provided his insights on artificial intelligence in and outside of the classroom to news reports that were shown on the statewide Spectrum News 1 network and Milwaukee’s CBS58.
Shaffer is a data philosopher at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research, the Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of Learning Sciences and the Sears Bascom Professor of Learning Analytics in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Education.
A state task group tasked with examining how artificial intelligence might alter Wisconsin’s labor market was the subject of the CBS58 report. According to Shaffer, it is “nearly impossible to predict” how businesses and employees would be affected by technology.
According to him, “it’s probably not replacing jobs directly; instead, it changes the kind of work people do.” “People utilizing AI will replace people; people will not be replaced by AI.”
Shaffer stated in the Spectrum News 1 article that one of the “least interesting” possible applications of artificial intelligence in the classroom is for pupils to utilize the technology to cheat on homework. He expressed his hope that instructors will instead concentrate on using AI to develop creative projects and educational environments.
In order to prepare students for what will happen when they leave school—which is almost certainly that they will be using these tools in the workplace—we can design activities, assignments, and curricula with the expectation that they will be learning how to work with these tools, according to Shaffer.
Shaffer wrote an opinion piece for Newsweek earlier this year regarding ChatGPT’s impact on classrooms. In recent months, he has been mentioned in a number of media reports on the topic.
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