ZDF debate about AI: After a few seconds, Lanz says in amazement: “We were never so slimy”
In November 2022, the artificial intelligence ChatGPT was released. What does it mean for our schools if homework can be done by an AI? The Chair of the Ethics Council warns of the dangers of AI with “Markus Lanz”. Others in the discussion group advise more composure.
The artificial intelligence ChatGPT conquers German classrooms. With one click, the program can write entire class tests. Since its release in 2022, the chatbot has passed the entrance exam at the renowned Harvard Law School, among other things. At the Bavarian Abitur she bites her teeth but so far.
In the ZDF talk “Markus Lanz”, high school teacher Bob Blume called for more media skills in schools and warned against “games of imitation and deception”. Sascha Lobo focused on the advantages of AI and spoke of the machine’s “creative performance”.
“Homework is dead if we try to ignore it”
This edition of “Markus Lanz” begins with an unusual introduction. It wasn’t written by the editors, but by ChatGPT. That turns out to be quite flattering for the guests of the evening. The AI calls Lobo the “most successful author on the internet, digital culture and artificial intelligence”.
“I don’t think we’ve ever been so slimy,” judges the moderator. “I thought it was correct,” jokes digital expert Lobo. The blogger and “Spiegel” columnist sees artificial intelligence as an opportunity for the education sector
Also in the group is Bob Blume, high school teacher and educational influencer. He sees schools as having an obligation: “In my view, media competence should now be addressed exponentially more in schools.” Blume does not want to ban ChatGPT in schools, but rather introduce the students to the new technology in a responsible manner: “Homework is dead if we try to ignore that away.”
He sees a ban as a risk that students and teachers will distrust and cheat each other: “Then it becomes a game of imitation and deception.” Blume gives the German school system a bad grade when it comes to digitization: “In schools we still have overhead projectors, and I’m glad we don’t have to fax back and forth.”
“It’s a stochastic parrot”
But what is artificial intelligence anyway? Can one speak of “intelligence” in ChatGPT? Here opinions differ. Alena Buyx, chairwoman of the German Ethics Council, sees this critically: “It’s a stochastic parrot,” she describes the program.
“You mean, intelligence is too big a word for it?” Lanz asks. “Skills are,” confirms Buyx. Sascha Lobo contradicts: “That’s not the wrong term, intelligence, but the right term. At least if you consider intelligence as a problem-solving ability.”
ChatGPT undoubtedly has this problem-solving ability. Nevertheless, the question arises as to how to use the technology correctly. “We’re just talking about it now: How good is that actually? How close is that to real intelligence? The question that then follows is: Should we actually want that?” Buyx points out.
For Bob Blume this is exactly the wrong question: “I find the question difficult because we are dealing with developments that are taking place.” He is primarily interested in practical implementation: “For me the question is: How do we want to learn in the 21st century.”
Thomas de Maizière: “Too many people are messing around at the school”
Ex-Federal Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière criticizes a systemic problem in this context: “The way the education system is structured now, it can’t be really good. There are too many people messing around at the school.”
Federal, state and local governments share responsibility. Above all, he sees artificial intelligence as an opportunity to automate administrative tasks and thus invest more time and resources in education. It cannot go on as it is.
“Headmasters told me that we can only do good schools if we act illegally according to the criteria of usefulness,” reports de Maizière. The CDU politician does not see the danger that ChatGPT could make human intelligence superfluous. He reassured: “All in all, I advise calm.”
Don’t we really need a stronger debate about the dangers of ChatGPT for the German education system? Sascha Lobo is relaxed: “As far as the dangers are concerned, I get involved in technology discussions
Germany has incredibly little concern that they will be neglected,” he says sarcastically. He is impressed by the creative potential of the technology: “With the best will in the world, I’m afraid you can no longer deny the machines’ creative performance.”
However, the effects cannot yet be assessed. But Lobo suspects that the major social challenges are primarily in the world of work: “Suddenly, automation is also affecting those with a high school diploma and university degree, who sit in the office and work in tie and collar. This is a whole new dimension of automation. And I think it will have a big impact in Germany.”
The original of this post “After a few seconds, Lanz says in amazement: “We’ve never been so slimy”” comes from teleshow.