Concordia University came under fire in January 2021 when a student discovered that the instructor teaching his course had died two years earlier. “HI EXCUSE ME,” the student tweeted, “I just found out the prof for this online course I’m taking *died in 2019* and he’s technically still giving classes since he’s *literally my prof for this course* and I’m learning from lectures recorded before his passing.” The university had continued listing the instructor as the professor for an art history course and relied on lectures and lesson plans completed before the instructor’s death to teach students while using assistants to grade student work and answer student questions.
This strange situation, however, raised an important question: If it’s possible to run online courses with materials from dead instructors, could we also do the same with material generated by artificial intelligence? At least with AI, the intelligence behind the screen would still be there.
Artificial intelligence is transforming education, but it remains an open question whether AI can replace live, in-person instructors entirely.
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