Have you ever made a mistake? What did you learn? Yes, making mistakes is one way to learn. I am in the process of learning Spanish using the Duolingo application. This gamified app makes learning a language fun and addictive by using the same tools as video games to keep users engaged in the process of learning a language. Correct answers are rewarded with “happy memes,” and incorrect answers use color (red) and sad sounds to make the user aware of their mistake. The incorrect answers are then corrected and practiced by the learner. There are also visual/audio rewards for staying on task to complete each lesson and upon achieving levels of learning.
Interestingly enough, AI is a learner too. It is trained on Large Language Models of data to predict what comes next. It also learns from its mistakes when we correct it. What is unique to this piece of software is that it can learn and remember. How much can it learn? We don’t know. It has become quite concerning as it continues to evolve and learn more.
At the moment, AI is a tool in our toolbox ready to collaborate with us by making us more capable and powerful. The book, Human + Machine describes how AI is impacting work, which I summarize in this issue’s AI and Economic Development article.