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Anthropomorphism of AI in Learning Environments: Risks of Humanizing the Machine

Photo by Martin Krchnacek on Unsplash

There is a flood of reports and publications around AI in education, driven, I guess, by the increasing use of Generative AI in education. One that caught my eye today is Anthropomorphism of AI in Learning Enviroments: Risks of Humanaizing the machine by Pati Ruiz and Kip Glazer. They say:

...we want to caution against the anthropomorphizing of AI. AI is not human, and we should not be using human-related terms to refer to these systems and tools because that can lead to misconceptions that cause harm not just to our students but to our communities as well. It’s important to remember that AI systems are just computers and that they make errors. As such, we believe that the term hallucination should be replaced with mistake.

In a report on the USA Executive Order on the Safe, Secure and Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence they go on to explain:

We believe that technologies can be most valuable for teaching and learning when they complement human abilities by putting educators' professional judgment and learners' voices at the center. As much as AI systems and tools can support teaching and learning, it is essential to remember that human judgment will always be required.

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