The Daily Rambling Artist: Fostering AI Literacy - Navigating the Challenges Ahead

The Daily Rambling Artist: Fostering AI Literacy - Navigating the Challenges Ahead

In a recent conversation, I shared my positive perspective on AI's capabilities and was met with my friend's observation that it was one of the few favorable opinions they had encountered about the technology. This got me thinking about the common apprehensions that tend to arise whenever AI is discussed.

It's clear that AI technologies are here to stay. This reminds me of a memory from a philosophy class. I had a teacher who had a great approach to teaching the subject. Instead of focusing narrowly on a single branch, he aimed to cover as many facets of philosophy as possible within a single semester. This approach allowed me to explore the strengths and weaknesses of various philosophical approaches without bias, leading to a truly enlightening educational experience.

Dr. Pugh’s teaching method significantly shaped my philosophical journey. Unfortunately, he didn't secure tenure and left. At a Catholic university where Thomism was the philosophical foundation, his departure revealed the distinctiveness of his teaching approach. As I continued through my major, I began to realize the absence of his perspective.

In a literature in ethics class, I encountered a situation that mirrors the skepticism often directed towards AI. During a discussion, I referenced Jean-Paul Sartre's philosophical viewpoint. To my surprise, the professor responded with, "I've never read Sartre." This revelation was both puzzling and unsettling – a seasoned philosopher who hadn't engaged with a significant figure in the field seemed odd. Familiarity with opposing arguments, even if one disagrees, is crucial for effective engagement.

This situation reminds me of the criticisms I frequently come across regarding AI. Many skeptics voice strong opinions without genuinely interacting with the technology, forming their judgments based on sensationalized content from social media. While AI certainly presents challenges, neglecting to engage with it is akin to ensuring that these challenges will have a more substantial impact on those who lack informed perspectives.

Change and differing viewpoints, similar to what I encountered in philosophy and AI, can indeed be challenging to process. Yet, ignoring them doesn't make them go away or diminish their significance. Just as my philosophy professor's unfamiliarity with Sartre limited his ability to engage with opposing ideas, dismissing AI without a substantial understanding could hinder the capacity to navigate its trajectory responsibly.

It's crucial to approach AI with an open mind, promoting discussions and understanding, even when opinions differ. This approach more fully enables humans to navigate the potential challenges and benefits of AI with wisdom and foresight.

-Sergio Santos