An illustrated group of diverse people in a meeting room, with a large chalkboard in the background featuring an intricate drawing of a humanoid robot head filled with gears and symbols representing various aspects of technology and thought. The group appears engaged in a discussion about artificial intelligence.

Helen Beetham, whose work over at imperfect offerings I’ve mentioned many times here, has a guest post on the LSE Higher Education blog about AI in education.

She discusses five ways in which it’s often discussed: as a specific technology, as intelligence, as a collaborator, as a model of the world, and as the future of work. In my day-to-day routine, I tend to use it as a collaborator, because I have (what I hope to be) a reasonable mental model of the capacities and limitations of LLMs.

What’s particularly useful about this article is the meta-framing that more ‘productivity’ isn’t always to be valued. Sometimes, what we want, is for people to slow down and deliberate a bit more.

AI narratives arrive in an academic setting where productivity is already overvalued. What other values besides productivity and speed can be put forward in teaching and learning, particularly in assessment? We don’t ask students to produce assignments so that there can be more content in the world, but so we (and they) have evidence that they are developing their own mental world, in the context of disciplinary questions and practices.

Source: LSE Higher Education blog