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On a warm sunny New York day in May 1997, Garry Kasparov, the greatest chess player of the age, suffered a crushing defeat to Deep Blue, a chess computer developed by IBM. This was the first time a computer had defeated a world champion in a match under tournament conditions, and it sent shockwaves throughout the world. 

Unless you’ve been lucky enough to be living under a rock recently, you are undoubtedly aware of the rise of ChatGPT, the AI generated chatbot that has been met in some circles by either feverish excitement or abject horror. Students everywhere are discovering that this new technology can knock off essays in a matter of seconds, and universities are taking rear-guard action to ensure the integrity of their assessment procedures. People in a range of professions are asking themselves, how might this new technology affect me?   

Are we reaching the point where computers will pass the Turing Test, when someone can’t tell the difference between a human and a machine? Does the test need a variant where a person must convince another that they are actually human and not a chatbot? Although robots are seemingly incapable of ticking a box or identifying traffic lights. There is hope.  

Having had a chance to reflect on his loss, Kasparov has become an advocate for the combination of human ingenuity coupled with the computational power of a computer. There are things that humans are superb at and there are things computers can do far better than us. As Emo Philips put it, “I lost to a computer at chess, but it was no match for me in kickboxing”. Imagine what we can do together.   

As teachers, we can harness some of the technology available and use it to help our students better understand tricky and difficult topics. For example, if you’ve never used Geogebra in the classroom, AMSP East Midlands has some excellent short courses on offer in March, April and May:   

We also offer on-demand training modules to support your use of Desmos.  

Now for the tricky question, was this article written by a human or AI? Answers on a postcard please.  

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