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RE: [teacherartexchange] Question Standardized Assessment - Watson


From: Sears, Ellen (ellen.sears_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Feb 17 2011 - 05:14:30 PST

Hi Marvin -
I've enjoyed watching Watson (and Ken getting a little flustered...) - a great interview with involved parties this week at On Point - you can listen to the interview here:

and an interview with Ken Jennings:

Of course you don't hear from Watson... 'he' is only programed to answer one type of questioning - not do interviews.

It was interesting to hear how many people were freaked out by Watson... and threatened... really? They aren't spooked by their smartphone pinpointing their exact location on Google maps? Or adding a location to a photo? That bothers me more than Watson. The question was asked if AI could take over 75% of your job tasks... wouldn't you welcome it? I started wondering if AI could do 75% of a teachers job.... summative assessment... maybe , formative? I don't know. And that's just the easy stuff.

You asked your question before Watson missed the final Jeopardy question about US cities... and gave the answer Toronto. Maybe that illustrates one of the problems that could arise with using AI and assessments.... Watson made a huge error (and the programmers' explanation didn't make sense...)

Our state used to have extended tasks/performance assessments as part of the state testing... many times they hired retired teachers to give the assessments... "Extended tasks were assignments that require sustained attention in a single work area and are carried out over several hours or longer. Such tasks could include drafting, reviewing, and revising a poem; conducting and explaining the results of a science experiment on photosynthesis; or even painting a car in auto shop." I can't believe that was almost 20 years ago... we had math and writing portfolios too... the only part of the overall assessment that remains is the on-demand/open response part. The extended tasks were the first to go - money and time. Your question is a good one... could AI help?

Questions I have about Watson/AI...
I thought that it was interesting that there weren't any images included in the questions on Jeopardy - I would like to know more about Watson's visual literacy.
Can it get a joke? Can it make a joke (sometimes I think comedy is the highest form of intelligence)
Could it have been sitting around in a bar one night watching Ken Jennings on Jeopardy and said 'I wonder....if I could create AI that could beat Ken at Jeopardy"


This got a bit long, so feel free to skip to the last paragraph to see if you want to respond.

HERE IS THE QUESTION: If the states were to use AI (artificial intelligence) programmed computer based testing to make valid assessments of more than the academic discipline minds, what do you think about it? These would not be bubble tests, but they would ask open questions with many possible answers. How would it effect the learning environment in all classrooms? How would it influence the teaching of art? On balance would it be worse than we now have, or better than what we now have? Why?


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