Artificial Intelligence, Smart Classrooms and Online Education in the 21st Century: Implications for Human Development

Artificial Intelligence, Smart Classrooms and Online Education in the 21st Century: Implications for Human Development

Ikedinachi A. P. WOGU, Sanjay Misra, Patrick A. Assibong, Esther Fadeke Olu-Owolabi, Rytis Maskeliūnas, Robertas Damasevicius
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/JCIT.2019070105
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The advent of artificial intelligence (AI) technology in the education sector has largely taken over conventional classrooms and revolutionized the way education is conducted to the admiration of many. Other scholars however, believe that such early celebration of AI benefits is unfounded and inimical to the education sector since the adoption of modern AI teaching systems now raises long-term issues about the relevance of teachers and their classrooms in 21st Century AI education. The Marxian Alienation Theory was adopted for the article. The Ex-post factor method and Derrida's critical method of analysis was utilized for attaining the objectives of the article. The article faults recent attempts at eulogizing the impact of AI innovations in the education sector and on human development. Extensive research is proposed as necessary for contemporary scholars of AI and education technologist before proper appropriation can be made about its gains in education and on human development.
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The 21st century has witnessed a lot of innovations in the Information and Communication Technology (ITC) sector, especially as it concerns education, what (Ghafourifar, 2017, p. 7) referred to as “a lot of digital next big things in education over the years”. By ‘big things’, reference is made to innovations in machines’ ability to calculate and analyze complex figures as now seen in Google search algorithms (Hawking, Tegmark, Russell, & Wilczek, 2014) and in machines which now have the capacity to play and defeat Grand Chess Masters in the sophisticated game of Chess (Wogu, 2011; Kasparove, 1996) the AlphaGo IBM systems (Bryant, 2014) and even in the far too complex game of Poker (RileyMar, 2017). Recent studies in the area of AI research (Tegmark, 2016; RileyMar, 2017), all revealed that computers have acquired certain degrees of intentionality and consciousness, a feature that gives machines the ability and capacity to combine modern algorithms with deep machines learning experiences for the purpose of solving complex human related issues, a feature never really believed could be possible with machines. Today, advances in these AI innovations have made it possible for certain intelligent machines and devices to be able to process and initiate facial recognition in most devices today. The same features are behind the powering of systems used for self-driving cars today and other complex systems with human like brains capable of mimicking, acquiring and sharing knowledge even among other intelligent computing systems. This new feature is a phenomenon and an ability which their host and inventors (man) never believed could be possible in such a short time. This reality perhaps, explains why Max Tegmark, the Head of Future for Life Institute (FLI) opined:

Everything we love about civilization is a product of intelligence, so amplifying our human intelligence with artificial intelligence has the potential of helping civilization flourish like never before – as long as we manage to keep the technology beneficial… Technology is thus giving life the potential to flourish like never before… or to self-destruct. Let’s make a difference (Tegmark, 2016, p. 1).

In the light of the above presupposition, the purpose of AI in education is to support the efforts of teachers and to largely take over the time-consuming tasks of teachers like keeping accurate records and the grading of scripts during examinations etc. These seeming benefits notwithstanding, innovations in AI technology that is responsible for the emergence of intelligent systems like the ‘Artificial Teaching Assistants’ ATA (BOSS Magazine, 2016) into the schooling and education systems, have given most scholars ample reasons to begin to question the role and place which AI should really play in today’s educational sector. It is from this premise that this paper seeks to investigate and critically analyze the role of rising innovations in AI and its direct impact on the field of education with a view to assessing and comparing its effects and implications on today’s class rooms, on online education platforms and on human development generally.

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