ReligionProf Podcast Episode 2 Featuring Ankur Gupta

ReligionProf Podcast Episode 2 Featuring Ankur Gupta September 5, 2018

In the second episode of the new ReligionProf Podcast, I sit down with my friend and colleague Ankur Gupta to talk about our Artificial Wisdom project. This ends up being a two-parter, since there is so much that is worth talking about at the intersection of computer science, ethics, religion, and science fiction. We are both clearly really excited about the work we’ve been doing so far and where this is headed!

I have been collecting links related to this area, the points at which artificial intelligence intersects with or will soon intersect with everyday life, human social interactions, and society in ways that will activate, challenge, and test our values. Here are a few of them:

Escaping Westworld
Google “Talk to Books” uses natural language algorithms to answer theological questions
Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Work
How Artificial Intelligence is Changing Teaching
7 Reasons to Use a Digital Assistant (like Alexa) in the Classroom
The Artificial Intelligence Revolution Hasn’t Happened Yet
The real danger of deepfake videos is that we may question everything

Of related interest, my friend Nijay Gupta (no relation to Ankur that I am aware of) shared a list of his favorite theology podcasts.

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  • John MacDonald

    I enjoyed the podcast. You guys sound like a couple of old pros at it!

    In terms of the intelligence/wisdom distinction, from an educational point of view (considering I’ve been a teacher of the gifted and a Special Education Resource teacher, along with having been a regular classroom teacher) a lot of work has been done in this area:

    (A) Dr. Howard Gardner, for instance, has distinguished multiple domains of competence that an individual can have aptitude/interest in: musical-rhythmic, visual-spatial, verbal-linguistic, logical-mathematical, bodily-kinesthetic,, interpersonal, intrapersonal,naturalistic, existential and moral intelligences.

    (B) Benjamin Bloom proposed a threefold hierarchical taxonomy structure for improving higher order thinking skills:

    Lowest Order Thinking Skills To Highest Order Thinking Skills =

    The cognitive domain (knowledge-based)
    2.1 Knowledge
    2.2 Comprehending
    2.3 Applying
    2.4 Analyzing
    2.5 Synthesizing
    2.6 Evaluating

    The affective domain (emotion-based)
    3.1 Receiving
    3.2 Responding
    3.3 Valuing
    3.4 Organizing
    3.5 Characterizing

    The psychomotor domain (action-based)
    4.1 Perception
    4.2 Set
    4.3 Guided response
    4.4 Mechanism
    4.5 Complex overt response
    4.6 Adaptation
    4.7 Origination

    (C) And, there are various methods for teaching creative/critical thinking, such as the acronym SCAMPER:

    Substitute – comes up with another topic that is equivalent to the present topic.
    Combine – adds information to the original topic.
    Adjust – identifies ways to construct the topic in a more flexible and adjusted material.
    Modify – creatively changes the topic.
    Put to other uses – identifies the possible scenarios and situations where this topic can be used.
    Eliminate – removes ideas or elements from the topic that are not valuable.
    Reverse, – rearrange evolves a new concept from the original concept.

    • John MacDonald

      One last thought: One thing we know as teachers is that creative/ critical thinking skills can be explicitly modeled and taught. So, I would suggest treating computers like young children and teach computers higher order thinking skills the same was we teach the very young. For example, consider Picture Book Philosophy, developed by professional Philosophers for kids: