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    Humans are now developing machines (robots) that imitate human emotion and thought. This Connected article explores the development of artificial intelligence (AI) from a social and ethical perspective, an issue that will have increasing relevance in students’ lives. It invites the reader to consider high-level questions about the future for this technology, such as:

    • What is emotional intelligence?
    • How do humans think?
    • What are the ethical implications of building AI that acts like humans?
    • What would happen if AI became more intelligent than us?
    • Should we preserve social contact?

    The article will help students to understand how technological developments could expand human possibilities and how technology draws on knowledge from a wide variety of disciplines.

    Teacher support material

    Check your school library for the article from the 2018 level 4 Connected journal ‘Digital Space’, download it as a Google slide presentation or order it from the Ministry of Education.

    The teacher support material (TSM) can be downloaded from TKI (Word and PDF files available, click on 'Look inside this issue'). It has three learning activities that support the exploring technology aspects of the New Zealand Curriculum – How smart is “smart” technology?, Machine learning and Artificial intelligence: past, present and future.

    Related content

    Futures thinking is used to explore how our society and environment may be shaped in the future, our Futures thinking toolkit supports students to develop future thinking capabilities.

    Try these discussion questions:

    • Who is better at driving a car: a human or a computer?
    • How will automation change our cities/our homes/work?
    • What will life look like when the robots arrive? Have they already arrived?
    • How will AI change the employment landscape? Will I still have a job?
    • What advantages do humans have over robots?
    • How will it change medical care?

    This article supports teachers in Teaching futures thinking.

    Read about the development of BabyX, a virtual animated baby.

    Explore other resources that the Science Learning Hub has in Super sense – an introduction to artificial sensors.

    Useful links

    Core Education has a series of resources on Artificial Intelligence.

    A research article, Developing students’ futures thinking in science education by Alister Jones, Cathy Buntting, Rose Hipkins, Anne McKim, Lindsey Conner and Kathy Saunders.

    The Connected journals can be ordered from the Down the Back of the Chair website. Access to these resources is restricted to Ministry-approved education providers. To find out if you are eligible for a login or if you have forgotten your login details, contact their customer services team on 0800 660 662 or email orders@thechair.minedu.govt.nz.

    Acknowledgement

    The Connected series is published annually by the Ministry of Education, New Zealand.

      Published 9 June 2020 Referencing Hub articles