“seeds of hope”

i am somewhat confused about how i feel… as much as i am confused about how i am making the decision to type this when i really should be getting dressed for work. but this short video clip is absolutely blowing my mind. of course ted tv always finds a way to do that, but for some reason this topic of cybernetic emotional and empathetic intelligence… i mean… really?

but perhaps it is not the topic so much as the presentation style that is so matter of fact. that combined with my ignorance of how close we actually are to creating the types of artificial intelligence that we see in bad hollywood movies. after i got over this intitial shock i started to ponder this further…

could we build a machine that so empathizes with let’s say, a student who is breaking down with a moral dilemma to stay in foster care knowing that it may provide a more stable home environment even though she would miss her family? could a machine understand and attempt to mentor such a student faced with a struggle to find peace in how it orients her own moral compass?
could we build a “moral compass” into a machine like this? could a machine be programmed with infinite patience and close to infinite knowledge and utilize the two to help a struggling child learn? not so eloquently put; could a machine replace me as a teacher? i mean that is really what i am getting down to here…

either way, i think it is very interesting, the concept that we are spending billions of dollars on machines that don’t think or feel and therefor have no qualms with killing all kinds of life, as they were designed to do. but can the opposite approach to robotics design really contain the seeds of hope for humanity? time will tell i guess. if you have 5 minutes, take the time to watch this:

and so the year begins…

summer is officially over. the fall has quickly brought with it all the joys and hardships that come with being involved in the education of young people. football season, declining enrollment, new principal and administration, budget hardships, old faces gone, new faces come, new students’ smiles, old students’ angered outbursts, 2 custodians for a campus of 1900 middle school students, radical shifts in educational policy and debates over what truly is public education and who and how students and parent and communities should be served … and the list goes on of all the shifting and shuffling of a new school year. which is why i have been remiss in my posts, as if my absence from the blogosphere is anything new or unexpected… or noticed for that matter… but my attempt at consistent, public reflection on the things i experience in my life as an educator have been missing, and i have been missing them.

so in an attempt to restart this experiment in education 4 change (or for myself) i am writing again. free flowing on the keys. with nothing real profound at the tip of my thoughts or fingertips besides tidbits of unloading and updating as to where i have been since my last post, i decided to share this ted tv episode about the losing of wisdom we as a society are engaging in. in our daily interactions and preconceived notions of how we should structure our relationships with others, from teacher to student, to co-workers and bosses, to others on polar opposite sides of philosophical debates… to the simple exchange of goods and services… we have shifted into a realm that is constricted by our own social constructions and regulations. policies and memos often trump our collective wisdom, common sense and courtesy, and down right decency and joy we have for dealing with other humans and our shared issues… this episode summed up a nagging feeling i had all summer as i anticipated with some fear returning this year to the classroom part time. it also stuck with me, so here it is: