With movies like “The Terminator” and “The Matrix”, people have left the theater terrified that AI will eventually overcome human intelligence.
It is media like this that has made the human race as a whole feel a growing intimidation by AI.
However, I can argue that technology is not something to be afraid of. This artificial intelligence should instead be harnessed and manipulated by humans to better improve themselves. Technology can be used to enhance the learning environment and application of many different fields.
In my own personal case, my mother uses a virtual learning environment (VLE) called TeachLivE™ to train special education teachers at her university. When participants interact with student-avatars in real time interactive role-play, it is considered a VLE. I’ve grown up around my mother using these technologies and more recently have witnessed these VLEs up close and in person.
Basically, she uses these virtual labs to simulate an artificial special education classroom for her students to then practice teaching strategies with student avatars. It creates an engaging, efficient, and safe way to learn by doing in a setting that is less threatening than a classroom full of actual students.
It focuses on discrete skills teachers need to work with students who have special needs. This gives them a chance to make mistakes and fix them in a practice environment.
Simulation in virtual learning environments has existed in other disciplines for many years as well. For instance, flight simulators make it possible for trainee pilots to learn how a plane will respond to their action. Law enforcement trainees use physical training simulators to improve hand-eye-coordination in high-risk situations and to practice high-speed pursuits.
While observing these TeachLivE™ classrooms in action, I began to transfer these ideas and apply them to my own interests within the medical field. I am planning on majoring in biology at Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville with the hopes and dreams of someday becoming a dermatologist.
However, many different specialties within the medical field could benefit from real-time action role-play.
For example, people could practice CPR on more realistic Annie avatars to be better prepared for when the actual situation presents itself.
Future doctors and nurses could simulate a patient room to practice communicating with that patient and their families to help calm the nerves of real life. EMTs could create emergent situations where fast past triage and treatment are needed. There are similar simulation practices in use today but nothing compares to the technology of a virtual lab.
After seeing these practices in use in my mom’s special education classroom, I can only hope that I have similar opportunities in my field while I’m learning.
Technology like this does not scare me or intimidate me. While technology may be able to add or subtract without mistake, they will never have the personal touch and communication skills that humans have, whether they’re teaching in a classroom, or comforting a patient in a hospital.
I feel that humans have the power to take advantage of AI’s benefits and use this technology to make ourselves stronger, smarter, and more efficient. Artificial intelligence and human intelligence can work side by side.
There is no reason to be frightened or intimidated by technology. It should instead be welcomed and enforced, especially within learning environments.