Tuesday, 18th October (Cambridge)

1. Had AI (Artificial Intelligence) been available when you were at university, would you have used it for your least favourite subjects? Students Are Using AI to Write Their Papers, Because Of Course They Are is the title of this article by Claire Woodcock in Vice magazine: https://www.vice.com/en/article/m7g5yq/students-are-using-ai-to-write-their-papers-because-of-course-they-are

“I still do my homework on things I need to learn to pass, I just use AI to handle the things I don’t want to do or find meaningless,” says one of the students interviewed for the article.

One of the lecturers interviewed “worries that products like OpenAI’s text generator will make essay writing a moot point. ‘We lose the journey of learning (..) We might know more things but we never learned how we got there. We’ve said forever that the process is the best part and we know that. The satisfaction is the best part. That might be the thing that’s nixed from all of this.’”

2. Sticking with AI, here’s a thought-provoking piece by Michael Feldstein on his blog, eLiterate, Seeing the Future: Developing Intuitions About Artificial Intelligence, in which he recounts the fun he had asking – literally – the DALL-E 2 AI programme to interpret Rodin’s famous sculpture, The Thinker, from various perspectives, including that of a third grader, an artistic eight grader, Van Gogh and Salvador Dalihttps://eliterate.us/seeing-the-future-developing-intuitions-about-artificial-intelligence/

Here’s DALL-E 2’s own site https://openai.com/dall-e-2/

Now that’s a programme I would have used for my school art homework!

3. Why are Brookings Institution articles like London buses? Because you wait for ages for one and then two come along one after the other! Here’s another Brookings Institution piece, Reading with a caregiver trumps reading an e-book alone https://www.brookings.edu/blog/education-plus-development/2022/10/12/reading-with-a-caregiver-trumps-reading-an-e-book-alone/

I’m delighted they come to the conclusions they do. (Is that a sentence?)

4. And, finally, I’ve just read with huge enjoyment Tim Cornwell’s selection of his father David Cornwell’s (aka as John le Carre) letters. Here’s a Guardian piece about them  https://www.theguardian.com/books/2022/oct/08/john-le-carre-letters-extracts-david-cornwell

Reading them had additional poignancy for me as I knew Tim when I lived in Edinburgh and had pre-ordered the book several months ago, only to discover a fortnight ago that he’d died in May this year from a pulmonary embolism, the same thing I was lucky enough to survive two years ago.

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