Image default
Blogs Editor's Picks Science Science and Tech Tech Technology Top Stories

Artificial Intelligence and its Discontents while Teaching and Studying Literature

The problem is a relative one, where the success of a society depends on how the society views success. Anyone in this world, who is not aware of the power of technology and its offshoots, particularly Artificial Intelligence in this case, is as ignorant as a man in a jungle, unaware of global problems and solutions. AI has come at a time when the problems have already compounded on the very fabric of human nourishment, and nothing could be more damaging than when the problem in the bigger picture of human affairs has come into the scene dressed as a harmless solution, camouflaged as ‘intelligence’.

Artificial intelligence, by its very name, explains to the researcher what it actually is. It is ‘artificial’. But what does it mean to be intelligent and artificially intelligent at the same time? As we know by now, every advancement in history comes with a price, so it must be taken seriously as it changes the course of human conduct forever.

AI, to this day, lacks the ability to truly understand the complexity of human language and conversation. It claims to not have expertise in literary texts or aesthetics. It is simply trained to generate words based on a given input, but it does not have the ability to truly comprehend the meaning behind those words. This means that any response it generates will likely be shallow and lack depth and insight. Its inability to get quickly overwhelmed by the sheer amount of data that it has to process can lead it to make inaccurate decisions or even miss important information entirely, which can lead it to make biased or inaccurate conclusions based on the data. Its usage will essentially train students to produce imitations of writing that will be ingenuous and unaspiring at the same time. When students are taught literature, they are typically asked to read, analyze, and interpret plots according to their own understanding of things. Due to the inclusion of AI, this revolutionary, boundless onslaught will eventually go from creating awe-inspiring art to gnawing circumstantial produce.

Literature has always been about human beings and their emotions, thoughts, and experiences. It is about the human condition. It’s about how to identify and maneuver these concepts. Because of AI, the students will now be studying data rather than literature. AI works by following rules and patterns rather than by using creativity and intuition. By incorporating this non-humane technicality into it, the function of the heart and soul that we put into studying literature will come to an end. We will be using computation to do everything that humans can do without the human element.

The destructiveness of AI will corrupt not only students but teachers alike. It is possibly on the verge of replacing human teachers, which raises ethical concerns. If people begin to rely on an unexperimented technology so much, it will definitely lead to a loss of personal and genuine connection, making it more difficult for students to learn. And it will also be a hovering danger for teachers to find students who would want to learn from human teachers, knowing their worth. Never has this happened in the entire history of mankind where there are no teachers and students to teach at the same time in a spatial atmosphere. And it is almost impossible to know how society will react to such an inorganic and abrupt change where the sacred institution of learning and teaching will possibly be in the hands of chaos and uncertainty.

The history of mankind echoes the central problem: when man is given too much ease, he resorts to his traits, which are akin to those of animals and sometimes even worse. A society that is built to ease the human condition eventually eases it too much to make it a curse upon its subjects. The problem is that its philosophical implications—its epistemological and ontological ones—deem it too deep and complex to solve.

AI is like a toy in the hands of those who were fooled by the proposition that it was just a tool. AI will not solve the bigger crises of human affairs, and that is the real threat that it poses to the conscious thinker. It is not capable of empathizing with humans. It can never really understand the emotions that a piece of literature is trying to invoke in its reader and its teacher. It is not capable of creativity. This means that it will never be able to come up with new ideas or interpretations of literature that could be of great value to students and teachers alike. It is paving the way for a world where students and teachers will become heavily reliant on pre-programmed responses from artificial intelligence, hence providing little solutions for the nuanced problems.

The idea that AI may be used in a variety of ways for improved teaching and learning will be challenged in society. This technology has the potential to create new literary genres like cyberpunk and postmodern fiction. However, it cannot be denied that we live in a period when external rather than internal cues are constantly guiding our actions. Students and teachers who depend on such unconventional technology will always struggle with what they mistakenly believe to be problems to solve, unaware that this is actually the result of their brains and minds deteriorating simultaneously, robbing them of the capacity to think critically and independently.

AI is science-y, not human in its form of writing. And what it does entail in an ever-changing world of ideas, a world where humans are losing a grip on their own true selves, is an idea to reckon with. Critics and thinkers must join heads to actually figure out what it means to successfully transit between intelligence and what we now know as artificial intelligence.