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Bon Newsletter Issue 7: Values in the Digital Age

This month, we discuss the relationship between values and emergent technologies.

Hi there! ✋ Welcome to Bon's monthly newsletter capturing the transformative impact of education around the world. This month, we're thinking about the relationship between values and emergent technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI). Why do values matter so much in the digital age?

- Chris Batchelder

AI and the Future of Education

White robot human features
Photo by Alex Knight / Unsplash

One of the growing concerns with Artificial Intelligence (AI) is that we end up in a Sorcerer's Apprentice scenario.

In this famous tale, an old sorcerer departs his workshop, leaving his apprentice with chores to perform. Tired of fetching water by hand, the apprentice decides to enchant a broom to do the work for him. He uses magic in which he has not been fully trained, and soon the water is everywhere. The apprentice realizes that he cannot stop the broom since he does not know the magic required to do so.

Unfortunately, like the apprentice in the story, we may lack the necessary information to stop computers when we want them to stop. There is also a risk that computers will take on tasks for which they were not programmed. A similar scenario could occur if an advanced AI is developed and released into the world without proper safeguards. Should it develop sentience and decide to fulfill its goals (whatever they may be) without regard for human life, there could be no way to stop it…

Not convinced by the analogy?

Well… How would you feel if you knew that the whole thing was written by a piece of AI software known as GPT-3?

The rest of this month’s feature article was produced by the team of human beings at Bon Education. It takes a closer look at the Alignment Problem in AI and its implications for the future of education, including:

Please click here to read the article in full.

We'd love to hear from you!

What are your feelings about AI and the future of education? Drop us a line and let us know!

What We're Up To

What's Inspiring Us

The Importance of Gratitude:
Ramadan Kareem to our friends who are celebrating this month! This time of year encourages us to reflect on our blessings. But did you know that practicing gratitude can have all kinds of health benefits? As Harvard Health explains, "Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity and build strong relationships."

Future Innovations in Education:
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to address some of the biggest challenges in education today. However, rapid technological developments inevitably bring risks and challenges. UNESCO addresses these ideas and makes policy recommendations for educators in this interesting article.

Welcome to the Team!

Bon Education is delighted to announce three new additions to the team.

Pam Lansdell joins the team as Learning and Visual Designer. Pam has a passion for solving design problems through creative thinking principles. After working in the industry for 25 years, she moved into lecturing graphic design, where she was able to impact the young creative minds of the future. Her belief is that through co-design and inclusive thinking, a more accessible future can be achieved for all.

Karen Hart joins the teams as Project Manager and Education Consultant. Karen has been a Program Facilitator and Accessibility Specialist since 2014, and she consulted in the Gulf Region since 2018. She has extensive experience in program development, design and implementation. Her work with the Deaf community in South Africa has been recognized by the Library of Congress Literacy Awards in Washington D.C.

David Cornwell joins the team as Content Writer and Editor. David has a strong background in the arts, but he is equally at home in the classroom, having taught in schools, universities and language centers around the world. He considers himself an idealist about the role of education in society, and he draws inspiration from emerging trends such as the gamification of learning.

Read more about the Bon Education team and our innovative programs by clicking here.

“The aim of education is the knowledge, not of facts, but of values.”
— William S. Burroughs