Mike Sharples (@sharplm): This "student essay" was written by an AI Transformer program. I gave it a prompt "The construct of learning styles is problematic because " and it generated the rest, including the headings and references. AI Transformer technology will disrupt education. Here's how. 🧵1/ https://twitter.com/sharplm/status/1524024647259504645/photo/1

Mike Sharples (@sharplm): The most obvious disruption is students submitting assignments generated by AI. That's already happening. Anyone can sign up for an account with the GPT-3 Transformer then go to its "Playground", type the opening words of an assignment, press Submit and let it do the rest. /2 https://twitter.com/sharplm/status/1524024652254879745/photo/1

Mike Sharples (@sharplm): Note its reference to "Dunn and Dunn (1997)". There is a journal of Research in Education, but no issue 7(2) in 1997. Dunn & Dunn did publish on learning styles, but not in that journal. GPT-3 has invented a plausible-looking but fake reference. /3 https://twitter.com/sharplm/status/1524024656243699717/photo/1

Mike Sharples (@sharplm): Plagiarism software will not detect essays written by Transformers, because the text is generated, not copied. A Google search shows each sentence as novel. Any student can now generate an entire original essay or assignment in seconds. /4

Mike Sharples (@sharplm): Some Transformers such as GPT-3 can filter bad language. But they are essentially amoral. They don't know what they have written - they can't reflect on their output. Can a powerful but amoral text generator be used for good in education? Here are some suggestions. /5

Mike Sharples (@sharplm): Just as a student can generate an essay in seconds, so a teacher can assess it. Add "Here is a short assessment of this student essay:" and GPT-3 writes a review. It's an OK job. It transforms surface text into a review, but doesn't get to the meaning nor the fake reference. /6 https://twitter.com/sharplm/status/1524024663977959430/photo/1

Mike Sharples (@sharplm): Students will employ AI to write assignments. Teachers will use AI to assess them. Nobody learns, nobody gains. If ever there were a time to rethink assessment, it's now. Instead of educators trying to outwit AI Transformers, let's harness them for learning. /7

Mike Sharples (@sharplm): First, Transformers can quickly show students different ways to express ideas and structure assignments. A teacher can run a classroom exercise to generate a few assignments on a topic, then get students to critique them and write their own better versions. /8

Mike Sharples (@sharplm): Second, AI Transformers can be creativity tools. Each student writes a short story with an AI. Student writes the first paragraph, AI continues with the second, and so on. A good way to explore possibilities and overcome writer's block. /9

Mike Sharples (@sharplm): Third, teachers can explore the ethics and limits of AI. How does it feel to interact with an expert wordsmith that has no morals and no experience of the world? Does a "deep neural network" have a mind, or is it just a big data processor? /10

Mike Sharples (@sharplm): Finally, as educators, if we are setting students assignments that can be answered by AI Transformers, are we really helping students learn? There are many better ways to assess for learning: constructive feedback, peer assessment, teachback. https://www.nfer.ac.uk/media/3094/assessment_for_learning.pdf /11

Mike Sharples (@sharplm): For more on AI Transformers and story generation machines, see https://www.routledge.com/Story-Machines-How-Computers-Have-Become-Creative-Writers/Sharples-Perez/p/book/9780367751975