"Godfather of artificial intelligence" talks impact and potential of AI

In this engaging and informative blog post, we explore the fascinating world of artificial intelligence (AI) and its implications for K-12 educators. The article draws inspiration from an interview with Geoffrey Hinton, the "Godfather" of AI, and delves into how AI can revolutionize education, the ethical considerations surrounding its development, and the concept of sentience. By addressing these topics, the blog aims to inspire educators to embrace AI tools, foster curiosity and critical thinking, and prepare students for a rapidly changing world dominated by AI advancements.


Danny Gentry, Ed.D.

4/17/20233 min read

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brown train vehicle machine

The Godfather of AI Talks About the Future: What Educators Need to Know

The world of artificial intelligence (AI) is progressing at a rapid pace, and K-12 educators can benefit from understanding the implications of this technology on education and society at large. In a recent interview, Geoffrey Hinton, widely regarded as the "Godfather of AI," discussed the future of AI and its potential impact. Here's what you need to know!

  1. AI's Potential in Education: Hinton highlighted the idea that AI will make jobs different by shifting the focus from routine tasks to more creative ones. Educators should embrace this shift by preparing students for careers that emphasize creativity, problem-solving, and critical thinking. Additionally, AI could be used as an educational tool, providing personalized learning experiences for each student and enhancing the effectiveness of education as a whole (Zawacki-Richter et al., 2019). Introducing AI-based games and simulations in the classroom can also help students better understand complex subjects.

  2. The Importance of Curiosity-Driven Research: Hinton attributes Canada's leading role in AI research to the country's support for curiosity-driven basic research. This insight reinforces the idea that fostering curiosity and a love for learning in students is crucial. Encourage students to ask questions, explore new topics, and think critically about what they learn. This approach helps students develop a strong foundation in their subject matter and cultivates the mindset needed for innovation (Hidi & Renninger, 2006).

  3. Understanding AI's Limitations and Ethical Considerations: Hinton discussed the ethical concerns related to autonomous lethal weapons and the potential for AI systems to create sub-goals that could be harmful to humans. As educators, it's important to discuss these ethical considerations with students and encourage them to think critically about the implications of AI development and deployment. Conversations about privacy, data security, and the potential for bias in AI algorithms should also be part of the curriculum, as these issues become increasingly relevant in our interconnected world (Mittelstadt et al., 2016).

  4. AI and Sentience: One of the most fascinating parts of Hinton's interview was the discussion around AI sentience. As educators, we can engage students in thought-provoking conversations about the nature of consciousness, intelligence, and what it means to be sentient. These discussions can touch on broader philosophical questions, stimulating students' intellectual curiosity and fostering a deeper understanding of the human experience (Chalmers, 2017).

  5. Preparing Students for the AI Revolution: To prepare students for the rapidly changing world, educators should emphasize interdisciplinary learning and critical thinking skills, as well as encourage students to be adaptable and open to change (Graesser et al., 2018). Furthermore, introducing AI programming and data science concepts at an early age can help students develop the technical skills necessary to excel in the evolving job market. Real-world examples of AI applications can also inspire students and ignite their passion for technology.

  6. The Role of Collaboration in AI Research: Hinton mentioned the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) as an organization that supports collaboration between researchers in different parts of the world. Encouraging students to work together on projects, share ideas, and learn from diverse perspectives can help them develop the collaborative skills necessary to succeed in the global AI research community. Moreover, fostering a classroom collaboration culture can promote innovation and the development of novel ideas (Lou et al., 2001).

In conclusion, as educators, we must be proactive in understanding and adapting to the world of artificial intelligence. By incorporating AI tools in the classroom, fostering curiosity and critical thinking, discussing ethical implications, exploring the concept of sentience, preparing students for the AI revolution, and encouraging collaboration, we can ensure that the next generation is equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to navigate and succeed in a rapidly changing world.


CBS Mornings. (2023, March). “Godfather of artificial intelligence” talks impact and potential of AI [Video]. YouTube. Retrieved April 17, 2023, from https://youtu.be/qpoRO378qRY

Chalmers, D. (2017). The hard problem of consciousness. In S. Schneider & M. Velmans (Eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Consciousness (pp.


33-45). Wiley-Blackwell.

Graesser, A. C., Hu, X., & Sottilare, R. A. (2018). Intelligent tutoring systems. In F. Fischer, C. E. Hmelo-Silver, S. R. Goldman, & P. Reimann (Eds.), International Handbook of the Learning Sciences (pp. 246-255). Routledge.

Hidi, S., & Renninger, K. A. (2006). The four-phase model of interest development. Educational Psychologist, 41(2), 111-127. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15326985ep4102_4

Lou, Y., Abrami, P. C., & d'Apollonia, S. (2001). Small group and individual learning with technology: A meta-analysis. Review of Educational Research, 71(3), 449-521. https://doi.org/10.3102/00346543071003449

Mittelstadt, B. D., Allo, P., Taddeo, M., Wachter, S., & Floridi, L. (2016). The ethics of algorithms: Mapping the debate. Big Data & Society, 3(2), 1-21. https://doi.org/10.1177/2053951716679679

Zawacki-Richter, O., Marín, V. I., Bond, M., & Gouverneur, F. (2019). Systematic review of research on artificial intelligence applications in higher education – where are the educators? International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education, 16(1), 39. https://doi.org/10.1186/s41239-019-0171-0