AI, Artificial Intelligence, is it the new threat to education? 🤖
Where was this when I went to school?
Artificial Intelligence software generates text on any subject you can think of and does it instantly. This new technology has now been banned in New York’s public schools due to concerns over its “negative impact on student learning.”
According to the Guardian, Australian universities have been forced to change the way they run exams fearing students are using artificial intelligence software to write essays.
Here's how it works. I’ll pick a topic, let’s say “Man’s best friend.” I’ll submit that to the Artificial Intelligence software, and ask for a 100-word essay on the topic. I’ll just show you the first paragraph. Here’s what it offered me the first time I made the request:
“Man's best friend is a phrase that is commonly used to refer to dogs. This is because dogs have been domesticated by humans for thousands of years, and during that time they have formed a special bond with us."
And then I placed the request again to see if the same essay was produced.
"Dogs, often referred to as "man's best friend," have a unique bond with humans. They have been domesticated for thousands of years and have evolved to understand and respond to human emotions and cues. Their loyalty, affection, and playful nature make them great companions. They also have practical uses such as hunting, herding, and providing security and assistance."
So, as you can see, every time you enter the request, a different although similar essay pops up. That’s what’s making it so difficult for a teacher to check to see if there was cheating or plagiarism involved. Even if the teacher was to enter the request, the AI result would no doubt be different again!
A spokesperson for the University of Sydney said while few instances of cheating had been observed, cases were generally of a low standard, and the university was preparing to redesign essays and exams, and improve detection strategies. But it's been acknowledged that AI can help students learn, and no doubt will be one of the tools used for work in the future. So, I guess the trick is to teach students how to use it legitimately.
And how is AI affecting other aspects of our life, tv shows, movies, and the world of music?
One of the biggest names in the AI industry, OpenAI, has its own online AI music-generating tool called MuseNet. According to the company, the tool can generate songs with up to ten different instruments and music in up to 15 different styles.
And from TIME online, two AI tools called Amper and Endel, allow non-musicians to create music by just entering what genre, mood, or tempo they’re after, and the apps do the rest.
Endel is a personalized app that takes into account some real-time factors, like the weather, the listener’s heart rate, and physical activity rate, and will generate gentle music designed to help people sleep, study, or relax. According to the company its users have used Endel to fight ADHD, insomnia, and tinnitus.
Amper is being used to create music for podcasts, commercials, and videos. Until now, a video editor might search for stock music and settle for something that would be close to what they really wanted. Now with something like Amper, all the parameters are entered, and the editor gets exactly what he wants.
There have been studies done that have shown focus groups couldn’t tell the difference between AI-generated music, and music composed by humans. So, where does this leave the musician or the composer? Well for this part of the musical equation, it seems, out in the cold.
However, some musicians feel that AI won’t end the human aspect of the art form, but assist in creativity. And there still could be some bumps in the road, especially with the question of copyright. There could be legal battles ahead.
Existing copyright laws weren’t written with AI in mind. Are the rights to an AI song owned by the programmer who created the AI system, the original musician whose works provided the training data, or even the AI itself? That all remains to be seen. And some are worried that a musician would not have legal recourse against a company that trained an AI program to create soundalikes of them, without their permission.
For me, I’m finding this is what we used to call Science Fiction!
It’s not fiction anymore.
Until next week...
1 // Rocket Norton has been involved in the music scene in Vancouver since the 1970s. He’s been a rock and roll drummer as the Rocket Norton Band, Seeds of Time, and playing stadium shows with Prism. Rocket is involved with countless musical projects. The latest was a benefit concert for Cancer Research that raised over $300,000. It was a very personal project, for you see, Rocket Norton has been diagnosed with cancer, and is facing enormous medical bills that will hopefully save his life. And now, Rocket Norton needs your help: Click here
2 // There was a backlash this week against Madonna as tickets for her show went on sale; the cheapest tickets for her show start at $500. Yikes! 🎟
3 // Spotted at the new Selfie Telephone Booth, Blue Frog patrons Norm Rutley with Debra and Ray Newberry. Tag your photo with #BlueFrogStudios - you never know what may happen! ☎️
Premiering on Blue Frog TV, the Sarah Smith Band Concert from January 2023.
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