To be human

I asked ChatGPT to write me a 500-word blog and it actually did, right in front of my eyes, in about 10 seconds, perfect grammar ’n all, but, sorry ChatGPT, what you wrote was boring as fuck!

I actually believe that technology could go a long way to helping someone get through a degree in Advertising, but it won’t help me get through SCA 2.0!

So, here’s a proper human SCAB…

My firstborn, Reuben, had his first driving lesson this week, another parental milestone I don’t think I’m ready for.  

We have recently celebrated him sitting his GCSE’s.  I say ‘sitting’ because he didn’t ‘pass’ any of them.  Only photography, which apparently was impossible to fail, even if he’d tried.  I’m actually very proud of him.  I’m proud that he got through years of education that is designed for people that are good at focusing on retaining and recalling information.  I know it’s been hell for him.  He very nearly got expelled in year 7, aged 12.  It was his first year in secondary school and the school decided that it would be ‘very modern’ to use iPads as a teaching aid.  Every kid had to bring an iPad to school daily and instead of paper tests, the school used an app to set the tests on iPads.  Anyway, Reuben managed to hack into the school portal (with ease) and cheated his tests.  He wasn’t quite mature enough to randomly set his grades to a ‘just pass’ – instead he gave himself (and his best mates) 100% in every test, which of course immediately alerted the suspicion of the teachers. The boys who were always fucking around in class were all getting 100% in their tests, uhm????

I had no idea what he was doing, until I got called into the school.  When I found out, I thought fucking genius, that’s my boy!  We live a mile away from GCHQ, the government HQ for cyber security, so I was thinking this is an obvious career route for him.  I enquired about cyber clubs etc.  The school did not see the potential that I had seen in Reuben, they only saw that he had cheated.  He was suspended for two days. I don’t even want to think about what might have happened had he been expelled.  One of his best mates was expelled that month, so we moved Reuben to a different school, to avoid him suffering the same fate.

The truth is, he cheated because he’s not naturally gifted at memory retention. More importantly, he finds it incredibly difficult to stay focused on something (that he has no interest in) for any length of time.  He knew (as did I) that ‘I can’t stay focussed, I’m bored and I don’t understand why I’m being asked to learn this stuff’ would not cut it with the teachers.

I did have him assessed for ADHD when he was two, it was ruled out and I was sent on a parenting course instead, lol.

So, having tried ChatGPT for myself, I see technology that replicates the skills that are taught and celebrated in the current education system.  ChatGPT can regurgitate information, much like a robot.  Well, it is a robot and I personally am not worried that robots will take over our lives, so long as we stop teaching our kids to become robots.  So, how about we strip out every robotic element of the education system (pretty much all of it) and build an education system that enables kids to use the technology that’s with us for life.  Teach kids how to break the technology, challenge it, compete with it and learn to do everything that IT cannot, and will not, ever be able to do (the things we learn at SCA 2.0). 

Much like my 12-year-old Reuben did.

Whatever it was that Reuben was being tested on in year 7 on his iPad, I guarantee that he will always have the answers to that test, at his fingertips, so let’s not waste time learning the things that AI can do and instead, become masters at the stuff that AI can’t do, maybe then, we’ll have a much better understanding of what it is to be human.


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