Dr David Tuffley (Griffith Sciences) has recently published a fascinating article ‘Human Intelligence+ Artificial Intelligence = Human Potential’ as part of the ‘Law & Human Dignity In the Technological Age’ series in the latest Griffith Journal of Law & Human Dignity.

The article looks at the positive ways AI can contribute to new workforces, Learning and Teaching practice,  and how we should see AI as a powerful extension of our ‘functional cyborg’ selves.


Dr Tuffley explains…

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is disrupting the world as we know it, and that includes Higher Education. The challenge is to figure out how to use AI to best advantage, to make it a partner in our professional practice. How can we integrate AI into our teaching practice?

“The technology has become a functional extension of our human selves.  It is not uncommon for people look at their smartphone a hundred times a day. It is the last thing they do at bedtime, and the first thing they do upon waking. With this degree of dependence a person is already a functional cyborg, a blend of humanity and technology”

Like electricity a hundred years ago, AI is finding its way into a multitude of applications and services. Old ways of doing things and established industries are transforming, with many new products and services coming into use. The transition will create millions of new jobs to compensate for those lost to automation. This has been the pattern of technology adoption over many generations.

There are voices in the public arena telling us we should be worried about this trend; the lost jobs, the threat of rogue AI deciding to do us harm, other fears besides. My article takes an optimistic view and suggests how to frame the relationship humans have with AI so that it becomes a valuable helper and not an adversary.

AI in the workplace can greatly extend our current capabilities.

For example, the first recorded case of an AI saving someone’s life was recently seen in the case of a Japanese woman with a rare form of leukaemia who was misdiagnosed by a team of human doctors. A diagnostic AI was put to work and in under 20 minutes had analysed the woman’s genome, compared it with 20 plus million oncological studies, and arrived at the correct diagnosis and recommended a treatment regime which was subsequently proved correct. It was the combination of human doctors and a diagnostic AI helper that succeeded where the human doctors alone had failed.

“When AI is used as an extension of human intelligence, the partnership can be a powerful one indeed.”

The “force magnifier” aspect of AI can be adapted with similar benefit in most every profession, including education where it could become a most excellent teacher’s assistant. It doesn’t take over, it stays in the background and allows the teacher to do their job more effectively.

   Read the full story in the Griffith University Journal of Law and Dignity here.


Author: Dr David Tuffley