By John Chioma
In the past decade, technology has revolutionised education by making it more accessible, interactive and engaging for students of all ages. One of the latest trends in education technology is the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to enhance the learning experience for students.
The introduction of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, in education is welcomed with a mixed reaction of excitement, concern, and a whole lot of questions. The use of AI in education is a growing trend, and it raises a lot of important questions about the impacts on study.
While some are enthused about the potential of AI to innovate the education system, some are left with worries and concerns about the potential risks it poses to students, education, and society at large. In this article, we will be considering some potential negative impacts of AI on students and education.
One concern is that AI-powered learning platforms could reduce the role of human teachers and limit the opportunity for face-to-face interaction. While AI can efficiently deliver content and assessments, it lacks the emotional intelligence, empathy, and nuanced understanding that human educators bring to the table.
These qualities are essential for fostering a supportive learning environment, tailoring guidance to individual needs, and nurturing students’ socio-emotional development- aspects that are not easily replaceable by technology.
Another concern is that there will be a lack of creativity and imagination in students. Many people worry that as AI becomes more advanced, it could replace creative tasks like writing, drawing, and even music composition.
While AI can generate content, some argue that it will never be able to replace the human ability to create something truly unique and original. An important question to answer is if AI can truly understand and appreciate human experiences and emotions. While AI could certainly generate content based on patterns and data, would it be able to capture the nuance and creativity of students’ expressions?
In addition, there will be a loss of essential and critical thinking skills. AI’s efficiency in providing instant answers could lead to a decline in students’ willingness to develop research and engage in problem-solving and critical thinking skills that are so important in education.
The process of struggling with complex concepts, making mistakes, and learning from them is an essential part of intellectual growth. If students primarily interact with AI for quick solutions, they may become less curious and miss out on the valuable learning experiences that come from struggling through problems and developing resilience.
In the case of losing essential skills, certain skills like memorisation might become less crucial, as information is readily accessible. However, this could come at the cost of losing foundational skills such as memorisation, mental arithmetic, and handwriting – skills that contribute to cognitive development and brain plasticity. Over-reliance on AI might inadvertently deprive students of the opportunity to hone these abilities.
Another major danger of AI is the risk of misinformation and fake news. AI systems can be used to spread false information and propaganda, and it can be difficult for students to distinguish between fact and fiction. This could lead to a decline in the quality of education and a lack of trust in information. One of the biggest issues with misinformation and AI is the so-called “echo chamber effect.” This is when students only see and interact with information that reinforces their existing beliefs.
This can be very harmful because it prevents students from being exposed to different perspectives and ideas. It can also lead to a lack of critical thinking and an inability to understand other viewpoints.
While there are dangers associated with AI in learning, there are also ways to mitigate those dangers. Below are some of the strategies that can help reduce the potential dangers of AI in education.
To ensure that AI is used safely and effectively in education, students and educators need to be educated about the risks and benefits of AI. Students should be taught digital literacy skills, including how to use and interact with AI systems. Educators should be trained to use AI tools and understand their limitations and potential risks.
Finally, to ensure that AI is used safely in education, it is important to collaborate with experts in the field. This includes data scientists, AI experts, and educational researchers.
While AI holds immense potential to revolutionise education, we must proceed with caution. The dangers of excessive reliance on AI as students are real and demand a balanced approach. Integrating AI should complement, not replace, the dynamic interaction between teachers and students.
John Chioma is a student of Mass Communication, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State.