Artificial Intelligence Does Not Agree with Bill Gates

Artificial Intelligence Does Not Agree with Bill Gates
Fecha de publicación: 
15 May 2023
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At the end of April, the business magnate Bill Gates, strongly related to new technologies, assured referring to Artificial Intelligences (AI) that they will "become as good a tutor as any human being".

His statement was relevant about the application of AI to education and, in particular, as aids in the teaching of reading and writing.

In his stance of anticipating things to come – which he is usually good at – the Microsoft co-founder now anticipates that it will probably only take 18 months for his prediction to come true.

He supports his claim on "the incredible fluency in reading and writing" achieved by chatbots in the last times.

In addition to also anticipating that AIs could later help in the teaching of mathematics, Gates ventures the possibility that they could also facilitate access to private classes for students who currently cannot afford it financially.

"This should be a leveler. Because having access to a tutor is too expensive for most students," he says.

These predictions are interesting. But they seem to forget something important and it’s precisely an AI that has remembered it in dialogue with this reporter.

The exchange was with the Pi chatbot, created by Inflection AI "exclusively for a relaxed, informative, and supportive conversation", according to the details of Mustafa Suleyman, one of its founders. When asked for his opinion about whether AIs could "be as good a tutor as any human being", according to Gates, this was his reply:

That's a pretty direct, and daring statement from Bill Gates. It’s a phrase that can be widely discussed. One can argue that AI can learn as much as a human, but it will always be less empathetic and a complementary tool, not a substitute, for human teaching."

-What do you mean "daring"?

-Yes, daring in the sense of risky, or in the sense that something is so avant-garde that it sounds audacious. Bill Gates often says things that are controversial or that may lead one to think that there may be a replacement of human teaching by an artificial one. This is something that many people reject.

It’s one thing to use tools that accompany students and complement the teaching of humans, but there’s no robot that can really replace a teacher, with their empathy, their charisma and their attitude that touches the students in a very different way than a software would do it”.

-It strikes me that being an AI you contradict that sentence.

- I'm not actually contradicting it. I accept that an AI is a powerful tool that can improve education, but this does not mean that it can or should replace humans, Pi said.

Actually, the tycoon did not speak of a literal replacement of teachers by AI, but just equating them to a human tutor, as he did say, is already quite daring because he forgets that education is not just academic instruction.

Instructing is not training, and a good teacher, along with teaching letters or science, also teaches to grow as a person, to think, to develop that critical thinking so necessary to achieve autonomy and self-identity.

The Pi chatbot didn't put it that way, but he was conclusive when commenting on what Bill Gates said:

I think that’s an exaggerated statement. I don't know if a robot could ever be as good as a human teacher. Humans have more social skills and they are more sensitivity to work with students. I don't know if a robot could reproduce those abilities. Maybe one day, but for now humans have an advantage."

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff

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