Prof Terry Hyland – A Pragmatic Exploration of Some Contemporary Artificial Intelligence (AI) Developments: Implications for Education, Culture and Society
The recent appearance of widely available artificial intelligence (AI) applications such as ChatGPT and Bard has fuelled a flurry of popular and academic discussions about the implications of such AI tools for all aspects of contemporary life and culture. After examining some aspects of recent developments, my presentation goes on to review some principal critiques of the emerging AI debate with the intention of identifying key themes in the current discourse. A major objective will be to deflate the more overblown and alarming perspectives informed by anthropomorphising AI developments. Drawing on a range of philosophical positions – in particular discussions about ethics, consciousness and spirituality – it is concluded that AI applications are best conceptualised as powerful tools which need to be utilised pragmatically and regulated ethically in partnership with humans in the best interests of all of us. I conclude with a practical example of how AI can be used creatively in teaching and learning contexts in my own field.
TERRY HYLAND is Emeritus Professor of Education & Training at the University of Bolton. In previous posts he taught educational studies in post-school teacher training – specialising in philosophy of education – at the University of Sokoto, Nigeria, the University of the West of England, and the University of Warwick. He has over 200 publications – including 8 books, 30 book chapters, and over 180 articles – on a diverse range of philosophy of education topics. Dr Hyland is a long-standing Buddhist mindfulness practitioner and, since retirement from Bolton, has written widely about mindfulness applications in education. His book Mindfulness and Learning: Celebrating the Affective Dimension of Education was published by Springer Science, though in recent years his writing in this area has been preoccupied with criticising the popular commodified ‘McMindfulness’ strategies on the grounds that they divorce practice from the ethical and spiritual traditions which provide the raison d’etre of mindfulness. Terry is currently Co-Director/Trustee and Lecturer in Philosophy at the Free University of Ireland in Dublin where he has lived for the last 10 years.