Edtech rant of the day: AI that isn't really AI
Not Artificial Intelligence, aka “AI”
The overuse of the term “AI” to market technology products has been out of control for some time. Educational technologies are no different. More and more I've been seeing “AI” products in edtech that are little more than slick visualizations wrapped around basic arithmetic.
Things that are not, by themselves or by default, “AI”:
- simple and obvious things expressed as percentages, e.g. percentage of students participating in some activity
- any graph and visualization that is not a line or bar chart
- huge dashboards full of numbers
- huge dashboards full of numbers with fancy labels of the form “Engagement Score” or “[StupidTradmarkedName] Score”™
Make it stop. Seriously, machine learning, deep learning and everything that might legitimately be called “AI” are interesting and awesome and powerful, problematic and potentially biased and also full of possibility. All of that is worth talking about and fair game to market as some branch of artificial intelligence; but selling elementary math and week 1 of Intro to Statistics as AI is just ridiculous.