Active Thinking Topic 58   Exit Doctors & Teachers, Enter Chat GPT? AI in Your Life

Saturday 29 May 2023, 1:30 to 3:30 pm

Any replies to the organizer -

Venue: Zoom online

Note that this topic is also running live on Wednesday 23 May 2023, 6:30 pm at West Oak Hotel, 208 Hindley St, Adelaide CBD. In that venue it will be a topic for Adelaide Shallow Thinkers (  ). Register separately for this. Shallow Thinkers topics are for free conversation. They do not have talking points or a reading list in the 'comments' section] .

Talking Points:

1. How do you see your own future being impacted by AI technology?

2. Think of some handicaps that a classroom teacher normally faces. How might programs like Chat GPT help overcome these handicaps?

3. Where are programs like Chat GPT likely to be LESS successful than a classroom teacher?

4. How can we assess learning by students who have been coached by programs like Chat GPT, or even had their essays written by AI?

5. The answers you get depend upon the questions you ask. This is extremely true of programs like Chat GPT. How can we teach students (or anyone) to ask in-depth cascading questions to AI programs to get the best outcomes?

6. What are some benefits that an AI medical consultation can offer that a human doctor can't? Hint:
In medicine there are about 28,000 peer reviewing journals. Each year they publish about 1.8 million articles and studies. No medical doctor can deal with more than a fraction of this. Most don't even try.

7. What kind of diagnostic error might AI medical diagnosis make which human doctors can avoid? Note that human error in medicine does kill or injure large numbers of people every year. (My long lifetime score with doctors has been that they've occasionally been useful, but about 2/3 useless to dangerous).

8. How important is medical privacy? AI diagnosis by its nature draws on worldwide resources in real time. It also makes you a part of those resources. Even if you are officially anonymous, AI will often be able to assemble a profile that identifies you to external parties.

9. Many people already self-diagnose using resources like Google and Youtube which themselves use AI algorithms. Chat GPT will already offer you diagnoses. So-called Tele-health is also likely blend this process with GPs and gradually reduce the human doctors. What are the pluses and minuses of this kind of self diagnosis?

10. Historically most doctors functioned as self-employed independent professionals and small businessmen. This pattern is becoming less and less workable. What medical personality types are likely to adapt well to being parts of large teams (perhaps connected electronically) and who will simply no longer be attracted to medicine?

Extra Reading Links

Sabine Hossenfelder (6 May 2023) "Artificial Intelligence: What's next?" @  [25 minutes]. [Thor, comment: This is about the best summary I've seen of the explosive expansion of generative artificial intelligence into every area of life. Sabine Hossenfelder is a physicist turned brilliant science communicator]

Sal Khan (TED talk) (2 May 2023) "The Amazing AI Super Tutor for Students and Teachers". Youtube @  [15 minutes]

Carina Chocano (April 17, 2023) "How Much Can Duolingo Teach Us? - The company’s founder, Luis von Ahn, believes that artificial intelligence is going to make computers better teachers than humans". New Yorker @  [Thor, comment: Like most New Yorker articles, this one is very long, but also very readable and interesting]

Josh Taylor (Tue 2 May 2023) "‘Godfather of AI’ Geoffrey Hinton quits Google and warns over dangers of machine learning - The neural network pioneer says dangers of chatbots were ‘quite scary’ and warns they could be exploited by ‘bad actors’". The Guardian @ 

Many Authors, many versions (125 BC on) "The Sorcerer's Apprentice". Storynory @ 

Noor Gillani (April 19, 2023) "Will AI ever reach human-level intelligence? We asked five experts - Some some said AI would not just reach human-level intelligence, but would probably surpass it". The Conversation @ 

Hannah Devlin Science (29 April 2023) "AI has better ‘bedside manner’ than some doctors, study finds - ChatGPT rated higher in quality and empathy of written advice, raising possibility of medical assistance role". The Guardian @ 

Hannah Devlin (Thu 4 May 2023) "The new genre of AI could be as transformative as the Industrial Revolution, the government’s outgoing chief scientific adviser has said, as he urged Britain to act immediately to prevent huge numbers of people becoming jobless". The Guardian @ 

Jonathan Tennenbaum (April 29, 2023) "Is AI more dangerous than the atomic bomb? - Don’t restrict AI development itself but rein in AI systems’ proliferation into every sphere of human activity". Asia Times @  [Thor, comment: This article should stop you in your tracks. It's basic argument is about AI manipulating humans. That's already being done on a large scale through advertising, politics and increasingly education. It works even at a primitive level. The killer effect will be when Generative AI is integrated in super systems which result in a command economy run mindlessly by a hierarchy of AI systems trying to "optimize" human behaviour. We've already had experience with total command economies: recall what Marx & Engel's original idea of 'communism' turned into. It didn't end well.]

Dan Milmo and Alex Hern (5 May 2023) "UK and US intervene amid AI industry’s rapid advances - Competition and Markets Authority sends ‘pre-warning’ to sector, while White House announces measures to address risks." The Guardian @

Waleed Aly (May 5, 2023) "When the ‘Godfather of AI’ warns you about his offspring, you listen - This week, the “Godfather of AI” warned the world about his godchild. Geoffrey Hinton is his name, and he has just resigned from his job at Google where he oversaw the development of artificial intelligence. Now unattached, he is free to speak publicly of his regrets and his fears. And what’s scary is that they’re so familiar." The Age @ 

Andrew Gregory and Alex Hern (10 May 2023) "AI poses existential threat and risk to health of millions, experts warn". The Guardian @  [Quote: "AI could harm the health of millions and pose an existential threat to humanity, doctors and public health experts have said as they called for a halt to the development of artificial general intelligence until it is regulated. Artificial intelligence has the potential to revolutionise healthcare by improving diagnosis of diseases, finding better ways to treat patients and extending care to more people. But the development of artificial intelligence also has the potential to produce negative health impacts, according to health professionals from the UK, US, Australia, Costa Rica and Malaysia writing in the journal BMJ Global Health."]

Angus Thomson (May 10, 2023) "How smelly T-shirts and AI helped unlock secret to detecting Parkinson’s disease". The Age @ 

Angus Thomson (April 29, 2023) "A new breed of AI is changing healthcare. But it comes with a warning". The Age @ 

James Purtill (2 April 2023) "Prompt engineers share tips on using ChatGPT, Midjourney, Bing Chat and other generative AI". ABC News @  [Quote: ""It turns out there are better ways of writing the prompt and less good ways of writing that prompt. "That's what prompt engineering is." In San Francisco, tech company Anthropic is offering a salary of up to $US335,000 ($500,000) for a prompt engineer. "It's a hybrid between programming, instructing, and teaching," the ad reads."]

Philippa Kelly (12 May 2023) "‘Why would we employ people?’ Experts on five ways AI will change work - From farming and education to healthcare and the military, artificial intelligence is poised to make sweeping changes to the workplace. But can it have a positive impact – or are we in for a darker future?" The Guardian @ 


There Are Two Kinds of People in the World (??)  (c) Thor May 2023

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