‘This is what we are hearing from the DfE robots: monotonous, meaningless, triumphalist claptrap’

Think of a Dalek, with the warmth and humanity removed – that’s the Department for Education spokespeople, according to a leading headteacher AI: it’s all the rage now. Artificial intelligence, as exemplified by Google’s DeepMind computer, has just beaten – no, wiped the floor with – Go grandmaster Lee Sedol. Using the AlphaGo programme, the computer, which cleverly learns as it plays, thrashed the expert 4-1. That’s some AI: not to be mistaken with the agricultural use of those initials – which, according to the old joke, is when the farmer, not the bull, does it to the cow. In my youth, I read a lot of science fiction. Isaac Asimov tangled with the issue of computers and robots, Asimov developing his concept of the Three Laws of Robotics, which…


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