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Abstract

Since the book was started in 2022, the new OpenAI has become a big name in technology. This artificial intelligence (AI) company has made realistic image generators, 3D-model creators and now (Generative Pretrained Transformer 3) ChatGPT3, ChatGPT4, ChatGPT Craiyon, with power to pass legal exams, write themed articles and even code full websites. It has produced college essays, drafted legal contracts, written poetry and songs and even a government report, providing a useful personal assistant. In January 2024, the Japanese author Rie Kudan won the top prize award for literature for her novel Tokyo Sympathy Tower and she admitted to have used the Chat GPT3 to write most parts. Only at 1 year old this tool is already winning a prize a human being would take a lifetime to achieve. As educators we should take this news seriously and reflect on its effects. These AI s do not think like humans. They are known as large language models (LLM) and have read huge amounts of data equivalent to billions of documents. Calculating what patterns of words or images are plausible they make response to their demands with impressive results. ChatGPT has people talking about AI power. The company has announced a major upgrade to the software behind ChatGPT. While the programme has been running on technology known as GPT3, now GPT4 is launching, so these two systems are the internet’s best-known language-processing AI models. Since ChatGPT was announced, it has been banned in some schools and colleges to avoid cheating, but utilised by major companies like Microsoft. Now, a pay-to-use version called ChatGPT Pro is available. This offers users added benefits for $20 a month, including priority access, faster load times and now entry to GPT4. What is ChatGPT? How does it work? Is this really the future of AI? We have attempted to answer these questions and provide examples and analysis in Appendix A of our ChatGPT experiences, soon after the November 2022 launch. As this innovation is likely to quickly change the format of teaching, we are inserting information on how it is used as the background for technology and learning.

In: Technology and Learning
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Abstract

Evidence suggests that recent world changes, particularly in technology, have altered the way we communicate. This has positive effects for greater connectivity but is negative for face-to-face experiences and non-verbal interaction, which have the advantage of transmitting paralinguistic information more effectively for enhanced understanding. The chapter considers the principles of effective performance in both face-to-face and remote learning situations.

In: Technology and Learning

Abstract

Recently, a job advert for the Neurolink Technology Company surfaced, while researching the competencies that employers consistently require of those working for them. The suitable candidate needed excellent spoken and written communication, effective multi-tasking and minute attention to detail, but the list also contained, “Understanding of Class 111 implantable neuromodulation devices”. This is no ordinary work role! In fact the post was for a Clinical Trial Director to run tests on humans of a technological product ready for surgical insertion. The aim is to plug the human brain cortex (grey matter) into the Metaverse – a simulated digital environment using augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and Blockchain, with social media concepts, to create spaces for user interaction mimicking the real world. Blockchain is a recording information system to make it more difficult (but not impossible) to change, hack, or cheat. It is a digital ledger of transactions that is duplicated and distributed across the entire network of computer systems. Therefore, it appears we are on the verge of a new world of mind control. The chapter considers the implications of research now making fast progress, as well as reiterating the messages of the book, Evidence is reinforced by students both in the Italian school and college survey and the case studies across all education levels in Britain.

In: Technology and Learning

Abstract

This chapter has two sections to illustrate issues of those involved in education. Section 1 presents institutions from Italy and Section 2 from England for comparisons.

Students from Rome – Liceo Scientifico Aristotele (School 1) – and Rieti* – Istituto di Istruziione Superiore I.I.S Celestino Rosatelli (School 2), completed a questionnaire on their learning post-pandemic. Data reveals student preference for active learning and some control over the process. Technology screen visual information dominates, so the auditory modality is less preferred for processing meaning, which must be recognized within instructional methods. Auditory processing is required for narrative language and higher level thinking, so must be monitored to ensure expert teaching. Concentration is a problem for many students, so may reflect verbal and visual domination of educational presentations – on-line technology or face-to-face. A small data set is reported, but is in line with world evidence.

Section 2 considers technology and learning views in schools, colleges and universities. Respondents value on-going support to transition from traditional to new teaching styles. They show insight and understanding of the world and volunteered to talk rather than chosen at random. Information discussed shows the different reactions people have to technology and learning styles. A mix of face-to-face and on-line experiences (blended learning) is acceptable and suitable for most people, as long as support (on-line & face-to-face) is continual, consistent and available when required. Comparisons reveal a need for active learning with some student control over the process for them to fully benefit from education. In a global world, which puts institutions into league tables, this proves difficult, leading to narrower learning that is test-based rather than focused on individual needs and personal development.

In: Technology and Learning

Abstract

This chapter considers the practice of false information, which has been increasingly available on the World Wide Web, and is a danger to reliable, effective learning. This misrepresentation has engendered much distrust in populations, leading to polarised views, anger and fear, which is tearing society apart. How to evaluate information sources for judgement about their reliability and validity is crucial, particularly for students, who need a fair, unbiased, broad perspectives in their learning experiences, in order to develop proper judgements. The fact that universities have been cracking down on ideas and materials that are unpopular amongst certain sections of society is an issue that must be addressed if truth and knowledge is to be valued and supported. Free speech has always been considered necessary for the progression of societies, but is in danger from today’s oppressive culture that cancels those whose views are not accepted by those in authority and control. This identity politics destroys democratic liberalism, which was fought for in previous generations and is now in danger of disappearing, due to narrow thinking and actions (Husain, 2021). Technology platforms are hastening this demise.

In: Technology and Learning
In: Technology and Learning
In: Technology and Learning
In: Technology and Learning
In: Technology and Learning

Abstract

This chapter results from present study on consciousness. Federico Faggin, the inventor of the microchip, wrote a section on this in the book I co-edited, The Robots Are Here (Sage & Matteucci, 2019). He believes that, according to present scientific knowledge, it is impossible to use robots in all human roles. In his latest book, Irriducibile: La coscienza, la vita, i computer e la nostra natura (2022), Faggin presents the technological and natural world along with human beings, employing scientific rigour and his vision of new possible connections from our increased knowledge of mental functioning. Faggin’s views result from more than 30 years of research. He explains humans as irriducibile (incapable of being reduced or of being diminished or simplified further) as no machine will be able to substitute for all their abilities, such as what has been endowed from genetic inheritance. His explanations make sense to my humanistic mind and allow us to consider what is beyond our physical human bodies.

An opposite view is offered by Antonio Damasio’s latest publication, Feeling & Knowing: Making Minds Conscious (2021). Damasio sheds light on the many aspects of consciousness to help us understand the relation between mind, intelligence and consciousness. Reviews consider it an authoritative text, based on scientific discoveries that explain a variety of views. Many philosophers, cognitive scientists, engineers and other investigators have been convinced that the question of consciousness was impossible to answer. Along with other prominent scientists, including Stuart Hameroff, David Chalmers, Christof Koch, Bernard Baars, Roger Penrose and Benjamin Libet, Damasio is convinced that recent biology, neuroscience, psychology and artificial intelligence (AI) findings are illuminating intelligence.1 His research has transformed brain understanding and human behaviour regarding the development of consciousness. Being conscious is neither being awake nor sensing. Feeling and knowing explain human capacity for informing and transforming experience and perceiving the world. His thesis is of an evolved unified body and mind, but scientific explanations differ. These views are examined as a prerequisite for considering technology.

In: Technology and Learning