Students will engage in a discussion about what it means to be human before trying to determine, much like the Turing Test, which images were created by artificial intelligence and which were created by humans. Students will read a passage from Frankenstein, analyzing the piece for how the author portrayed the creature’s humanity. Students will extend their understanding of artificial intelligence and humanity through analysis of a variety of video options. Finally, students will participate in a Philosophical Chairs discussion around the essential questions of the lesson, using the variety of multimodal texts to support and defend their arguments.
What does it mean to be human? Is having humanity the same as being human?
Students respond to the prompt “What does it mean to be human?” after watching two videos that provide reactions to the question.
Students read an article on the Turing test and conduct their own class version of the Turing test by evaluating documents created by both humans and AI (artificial intelligence).
Students read an excerpt from Frankenstein and why-light where the creature shows humanity.
Students watch two videos on artificial intelligence and connect these videos to the idea of what it means to be human. They use the videos to prepare for a Philosophical Chairs discussion.
Students participate in a Philosophical Chairs discussion over the question: Is having humanity the same as being human?
Student computers with internet access
Teacher computer with internet access
Big paper and markers (or Padlet or Jamboard or online discussion board)
Lesson Slides (attached)
“Can AI Really Pass the Turing Test?” (shared digitally)
Student Copy AI vs. Human: The Turing Test slides (attached)
Google Forms Polls (click links below to make a copy) or AI vs. Humans Student Tracker (attached; 1 copy per student)
In the Lesson Slides, introduce students to the essential questions on slide 3 and the objectives on slide 4.
Go to slide 5. Play What does it mean to be human?, Bill Gates discussing what it means to be human.
Then go to slide 6 and play What Does It Mean to Be Human?, John Green discussing what it means to be human.
Go to slide 7. Have students add their responses by giving their opinion to either one of the videos or to answer the question, “What does it mean to be human?” Provide students time to think and write.
Elicit responses from the class.
Share and read slide 8 to students: We usually think about being human in the context of what it isn’t. We have a hard time defining humanity, but we find it much easier to define what it is NOT.
Share and read slides 9 and 10 to students: Artificial intelligence, or AI, begins to blur the line of what it means to be human. If we are only defining humanity by what it is not, then AI makes that distinction much harder. Computer scientist and mathematician Alan Turing created a test to determine a machine’s ability to show intelligent behavior equivalent to humans. He predicted that by the year 2000, machines would be able to convince 30% of the judges that they were human within 5 minutes of conversation. One such AI, Eugene Goostman, did so in 2014.
Hand out or have students digitally access the article, “Can AI Really Pass the Turing Test?” You may choose to have students read the article independently or read it as a class. After reading, ask the students what they learned from the article. Ensure that they understand that the article was written entirely by artificial intelligence. Were they tricked?
Next, go to slide 11. Explain to students that they will be completing a station rotation activity. At each station, students follow the provided directions to view the slides or printed documents and decide which ones are AI-developed. They discuss together, but vote individually. Divide students into five groups for the five stations. Give students time at each station before signaling to them to rotate. Consider setting a timer of 5-10 minutes for each station.
Once all groups have rotated through the stations, review the results of the polls as a whole group. Show students which items were created by AI by using the attached Teacher Key AI vs Human: The Turing Test. Return to the lesson slides to show slide 12 and discuss the results as a class: Were you able to correctly guess? What surprised you? What questions does this cause you to have?
Go to slide 13, and share the information with students: Humans have been attempting human-like creations for a very long time. One story of such a creation has become part of pop culture. That story is Frankenstein. Show Video SparkNotes: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein summary to students, an overview and summary of the text Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.
The story of Frankenstein and the story of AI is one of technology created by humans to be human-like. This brings up several questions. What can technology never replace? What do we give up when we adopt technology and what do we get? Tell students that they will be reading a selected passage from Frankenstein to see how the creation shows humanity.
Share the Frankenstein excerpt with students by either passing out printed copies of Frankenstein Excerpt or by sharing the digital version with students “Excerpt from Frankenstein: The Creature’s Request”. Explain to students that as they read, they should use the Why-Lighting strategy to find instances where they see the creature’s humanity and then explain why they chose that passage.
After why-lighting the text, have students pair up to discuss their annotations. Go to slide 15 and share the questions with students. You may choose to have pairs discuss these questions together before opening up the discussion of these questions with the larger group.
After discussing the Frankenstein passage and the creature’s humanity, go to slide 16 and share: The story of Frankenstein and the story of AI is one of technology created by humans to be human-like. This brings up the questions: What can technology never replace? What to do we give up when we adopt technology and what do we get?
Share the Philosophical Chairs Planning Sheet with students by passing out a copy to each student or by sharing a digital copy. Explain to students that they will use the planning sheet to take notes on the videos. As they watch each video, they should look for evidence to answer the questions from the slide: What can technology never replace? What to do we give up when we adopt technology and what do we get? Is having humanity the same as being human? The question in bold is the main question they should focus on during the discussion.
Show The danger of AI is weirder than you think on slide 18. Give time for students to write notes and thoughts on their Philosophical Chairs Planning Sheet.
Show The Real Reason to be Afraid of Artificial Intelligence on slide 19. Give time for students to write notes and thoughts on their Philosophical Chairs Planning Sheet.
Go to slide 20. For the Philosophical Chairs activity, follow the following procedure for the activity:
Read the question posed on the slide: Is having humanity the same as being human?
Ask students to stand on the left or right side of the classroom depending on whether they agree or disagree with the statement depending on what they have read and listened to.
Invite students to take turns sharing their reasons for their choice to agree or disagree with the class, using agreement or disagreement statements and using evidence from the texts (for example, “I agree with…because…”).
Tell students that if their opinions change based on someone’s statement to switch sides of the room if they can explain their reasoning.
Take turns sharing until everyone has had a turn.
Extra Extension Activity Suggestion
See slide 21 for an extra extension activity for students: a technology detox. For this assignment, students are asked to go without their phones, televisions, or other electronics for a 24 hour period. At the end of the 24 hours, students are to write a response about their experience, using the strategy How Am I Feeling? What Am I Thinking? This writing could be collected as an assignment after the 24 hour detox period.
ArtAI (n.d.) Art AI gallery [website]. https://www.artaigallery.com/
Gates, B. (2015, June 9) What does it mean to be human? [video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uw6CUQdb5H8
Impulse Communications (n.d.) Slogan Generator. Boredhumans.com. https://boredhumans.com/slogans.php
Impulse Communications (n.d.) Song Lyrics Generator. Boredhumans.com. https://boredhumans.com/lyrics_generator.php
Jorgenson, P. (2015, July 24). Inspirobot [website]. https://inspirobot.me/
Karras et al and Nvidia. (December 2019) This Person Does Not Exist [website]. https://thispersondoesnotexist.com/
K20 Center (n.d.) Strategies. How Am I Feeling? What Am I Thinking? https://learn.k20center.ou.edu/strategy/187
K20 Center (n.d.) Strategies. Philosophical Chairs. https://learn.k20center.ou.edu/strategy/71
K20 Center (n.d.) Strategies. Why-Lighting. https://learn.k20center.ou.edu/strategy/128
Shelley, M. (1818). Frankenstein. CommonLit. https://www.commonlit.org/en/texts/excerpt-from-frankenstein-the-creature-s-request
TED (2019, November 13). The danger of AI is weirder than you think [video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhCzX0iLnOc
TEDxTalks (2017, December 15). The real reason to be afraid of artificial intelligence [video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRzBk_KuIaM
Vlogbrothers. (2015, June 9). What does it mean to be human? [video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FPpwxHtXLU
Warren, A. (2020, July 15). Can AI really pass the Turing test?. Wildfire. https://www.wildfirepr.com/blog/can-ai-really-pass-the-turing-test/