My students were talking about artificial intelligence, or AI, about the meaning of these new tools such as ChatGPT, the model of AI language that interacts with a format of dialogue «that makes possible for it to respond to questions, admit its own errors, and defy incorrect premises, and reject inappropriate requests; DALL·E 2, the AI system «that can create realistic images and art from a description in natural language.» They were reflecting about their consequences in the immediate future of education, of the arts, of information. About what it means to give a few instructions to a «machine» (in reality, it is a chatbot), and receive a well-written essay, or a work of art well done, not by the human who gives the order, but by the chatbot that receives it. And I, listening to them talk about the topic, about its ethical and moral implications, began to think about the difference between Generation Z (those who already grew up with the internet and technology) and previous generations. It was clear that they understood perfectly something that for me was difficult to comprehend.
And then I remembered all those times I felt that my mother did not fully understand what I was explaining to her. I remembered her face when, sitting together on the couch, she looked at me disconcerted while I looked at the computer. And suddenly, I imagined what would happen if instead of talking to her via videoconference every day, I would speak with an AI chatbot that would learn her way of talking, her sense of humor, and her wisdom…Would I feel the same thing I feel when she picks up my call and we talk about everything and about nothing? Well, I don’t know if I want to know it, since now it is I that, disconcerted, look forward to AI advances.