Maybe here is the solution to some of our large class sizes. . . . from Chronicle of Higher Education, November 28, 2008
Jeffrey R. Young, “Will Electric Professors Dream of Virtual Tenure?”
Excerpts . . . .
Last month at the NASA-Ames Research Center, a group of top scientists and business leaders gathered to plan a new university devoted to the idea that computers will soon become smarter than people.
The details of Singularity University, as the new institution will be called, are still being worked out — and so far the organizers are tight-lipped about their plans. But to hold such a discussion at all is a sign of growing acceptance that a new wave of computing technologies may be just ahead — with revolutionary implications for research and teaching.
The idea that gave the new university its name is championed by Ray Kurzweil, an inventor, entrepreneur, and futurist who argues that by 2030, a moment — the "singularity" — will be reached when computers will outthink human brains. His argument is that several technologies that now seem grossly undeveloped — including nanotechnology and artificial-intelligence software — are growing at an exponential rate and thus will mature much faster than most linear-minded people realize. Once they do, computers will take leaps forward that most people can hardly imagine today.
Computerized research assistants might even do some of the work that graduate assistants do today. Professors will be able to assign hundreds of these electronic assistants to problems without having to get grant money to pay them.
Computers will become better at teaching than most human professors are once artificial intelligence exceeds the abilities of people. . . . These new computer teachers will have more patience than any human lecturer, and they will be able to offer every student individual attention — which sure beats a 500-person lecture course.
Section: Information Technology
Volume 55, Issue 14, Page A13