I was struck by the following quote from the annual Draper Lecture at Queen Mary’s by Nick Hillman on the future of higher education on artificial intelligence in education. The quote highlights key questions on the purpose of the educational endeavour in relation to the individual. Education is not only concerned with learning what or learning how, but also about social validation.
In a decade’s time, my younger child will still be young enough to have school homework. Artificial intelligence won’t be able to do it for her if she is to benefit from the process of learning. Perhaps a machine will mark the work, giving instructors a better work/life balance or more time for other tasks? Yet I can’t help feeling that part of the learning process is securing validation and approval from other human beings. If a student thinks their essays will only ever be evaluated by machines, why should they bother trying so hard to make them interesting?
As I stated in an earlier post:
while digital technologies afford enhanced access to the social component of learning and education current online and distance learning curricula tends to demote the social aspects of learning and so fail to develop the social capital that is a key benefit of HE (market signalling).