AI Isn’t Scary. People Are.

We have no choice. We must welcome the brave new world of artificial general intelligence.


Photo courtesy of author

There is a guy like me in every school. I love new technology and innovation. Always have.

I remember when I saw “my” first computer. I must have been 14 or 15 and my neighbor friend, Adam, who was the same age as me, got a Commodore 64. We spent hours fooling around with that thing. I can still remember the goofy blue and purple start-up screen and the inviting prompt, READY. It didn’t do shit and it was slow. It often took fifteen minutes or more to load a game from a cassette tape. It brings a tear to my eye thinking about that.

Adam’s granddad bought him the machine, suddenly and for no apparent reason. A few months later, he passed away, and it all made sense somehow. Funny how death focuses the mind, like that. Maybe he glimpsed the future. Or he felt guilty about his imminent departure from Adam’s life. Whatever his reasons, he gave him — and me — a special gift.

Fast forward forty years. Now, we live in a fast-changing world of constant technological challenges and opportunities. I firmly believe that I owe it to my students to update the content of my courses every year. Also, the ways of teaching and the available tools I let the students use change constantly.

Sure, it takes time to self-learn, prepare materials, and develop examples that are relevant in today’s world. I spend many nights and weekends researching, analyzing, and writing. It has become a continuous journey that never ends. But it’s worthwhile to make the sacrifices. I would consider myself a bad teacher if I didn’t.

Anyway, it’s not me I want to tell you about. I want to tell you about the teachers who disregard technological developments, don’t innovate, and teach the same thing without changing their teaching style year after year.

They scare me!

But before I can tell you about them, I must let you know what keeps educators busy these days — artificial intelligence and, more precisely, artificial general intelligence. I guess you aren’t surprised. You cannot miss it. There is so much online content discussing artificial general intelligence these days. Explanations…



Erik P.M. Vermeulen, PhD

Prof (Law) | Sci-fi | Sociological storytelling