Shadow of the Smart Machine: Will machine learning end?

We will teach machines to learn. But what will be the consequences of them taking an increasing role in teaching? Sam Smith argues that the growing use of machine learning in marking students’ work and teaching risks undervaluing and losing the unquantifiable skills that drive diversity, creativity and innovation. It was a folly of the 19th Century that there was a hierarchy of progress. A canard that placed the aboriginal societies of Australia at the bottom, and the Strand in London at the peak. History may not repeat itself, but it certainly rhymes. For years automatic plagiarism checkers have had a role in higher education. As students submitted millions of essays to these platforms, and teachers used them to mark or comment on submissions, they provided the raw material for…

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