Computer science, artificial intelligence and the mystery of life

A SCHOOL CALLED “42” image
This is an interesting school that a friend sent me a link about.
The overarching vision, as I understand it, is that because we can’t predict what knowledge or skills will be needed in the near or distant future, we need to be good at thinking and problem solving.
I could not agree more.
I used to have an anonymous quote hanging in my classroom “We can’t know everything so we have to be good at learning.”

Traditional school memorization and dump for the test is not a measure of understanding, but a measure of obedience and ability to remember facts for short periods of time.

Another big idea this school grapples with is class, and so they are striving to create economic and cultural equity by opening the school to all young people (18-30) even if they have a questionable academic history.

It is hoped that by breaking barriers down that economic disaster in France can be slowed and then turned around by discovering brilliance in all sections of society, and applying it to vexing global problems. Brilliance and discovery can possibly change lives dramatically….maybe even change the world.

That would be my hope.

Students will be in charge of their studies. The article states that the school will have no teachers, so I wonder who or what has created curriculum and developed the computer problems for students to solve collaboratively. That would be good to know.

Reading about this school brought to mind some of my recent conversations…

In recent discussions with those in the computer science and technical field, I learned of a current and ongoing debate about the exponential growth of artificial intelligence, and concerns of its impact and possible dominance over the future of human intelligence. The concerns revolve around a theory that it is possible for machines to become far more intelligent than people. Furthermore if machines continue to mentate and thus imitate the growth of human brain neural pathways, humanity might no longer be able to control its destiny. Machines will.

The other side of this debate puts forward that even though these machines can collate data and develop logic systems faster than lightening, the constraints of the system would be the intellectual capacity of their human designers.

This debate reads like good science fiction…yet it is a real debate in the scientific community.

I am not sure how this debate will fall out…but all of this makes me wonder….that since the growth and development of artificial intelligence has been conceptualized by human intelligence…how can it be regarded as more than a tool?

A tool that aids our fact finding…that allows expression artistically as well as mathematically….

I hope that a school like 42 finds out some important things for all of us and does not confine its acquisitions to the not so free marketplace that could use what is learned to increase consumerism.

–Please share your thoughts. Comments are looked forward to.


About cthebean

Educator, musician, social justice activist...and now a blogger. Children deserve unflinching support from adults.....they deserve nothing less. All kids . Everybody's kids. Everywhere.
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