So close…

Leah Libresco is worrying about AI cheating. There’s an important and valid worry in this area, but the cheating itself is not the serious problem.

These companies use machine-learning models to count how many times per minute a student blinks or shifts his gaze (while taking an online exam, for example); they then compare this figure to the number of times a student who was really working would blink or shift his gaze. In this way, they hope to detect whether the student is using ChatGPT to complete the exam. It’s AI versus AI.

Creepy! You can be sure they’re really detecting far more than cheating.

The answer to cheating is super-simple, but requires unified action and political will. All universities should get together and force OpenAI to Open. We can be 100% certain that OpenAI keeps records of absolutely everything. Keeping records is normal in big business, especially normal in the digital world, and it’s REQUIRED by regulations. Every use of OpenAI by a student should be reported at frequent intervals to the university, along with the generated text. This would be nearly costless for OpenAI if they choose to do it. They won’t choose to do it unless forced.

Libresco seeks an admirable goal:

The work at BS jobs can’t bear too much scrutiny. Close up, workers will admit to the governing principle, “We pretend to work, and they pretend to pay us.” At BS schools, students, teachers, and administrators are engaged in the same farrago of false industry. They can form the appearance of a classroom, but it’s hollow inside, just as ChatGPT can write your essay or your love letters without any sentiment.

But Libresco misses the solution because she’s still starting from the tired old “conservative” preference for memorizing theories. This is a terrible way to teach, and it’s COUNTERCONSERVATIVE. If we want students who can think for themselves and defeat bureaucracies, we need to train them in physical skills. They need to be ACTIVELY CONNECTING with reality, using all muscles and senses, not just the eyes and the cortex.

Memorizing theories and spitting them out at test time is NOT LEARNING.

I don’t care if the theories are “conservative” or “liberal”. Four years of memorizing crap leaves students fully vulnerable and open to NEW memorized crap, which will always be contrary to morality and sanity.

Proper education focuses relentlessly on practicing SKILLS and expanding the cerebellum. Symbolic forms of learning like math and history can be brought in along with the SKILLS. When the symbolic material is LINKED with the SKILLS, it becomes far more permanent and resilient.

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