Why AI Should Make Us Ask Better Questions
This essay is a timely antidote to the growing enthusiasm and alarm for AI generated productions. The connection you make between knowledge and curiosity is important in an age where many people seem to conflate information with knowledge. The idea that young minds need not learn deeply about a subject, because everything they need to know can be Googled is the very mindset that will ensure increasing mental impoverishment and also increase our future inability to see the iron cage that limits their thought. I imagine if you see the world as reducible to lines of code, the notion of interrogating an idea must seem very foreign.
Thank you for this timely dose of wisdom. As Goethe said, "he who cannot draw on three thousand years is living from hand to mouth." Drawing on a pre-masticated version of our patrimony via an AI insulates us from its richness and flavour - like eating baby food instead of a real meal - as well as discouraging exploration. And that exploration not only allows us to ask better questions, it deepens our ability to appreciate and enjoy the world.
Thank you for this insightful commentary. When I was teaching philosophy and ethics, good questions were what I strived to give my students. But a question that elicits curiosity and creativity is not that easy to come by. I spent a good deal of my preparation time working on questions both for written short essays and for our discussions. You’ve made the whole topic come alive for me, though I’ve been retired now for four years.
The distinction between knowledge or technique and curiosity and creativity seems to have been overlooked, in the case of AI language models. It's surprising that this piece is the first I've seen to have surfaced it.