Find us on
Association of Washington School Principals
Washington Principal | Volume 2– 2022-23
Say Hi to AI
Time to Get Real About Artificial Intelligence
David Morrill
Communications & Technology Director, AWSP
Every now and then, something comes along that changes life as we know it. An event or invention so profound, it redefines an era and forever alters how we live and work. The wheel. The industrial revolution. Sliced bread. Radio and television. The internet. Social media. The pandemic.
Now, AI – artificial intelligence.
You’ll notice a few AI themes or content pieces in this issue. If you’re not paying attention yet, it would be really intelligent of you to start understanding artificial intelligence.
The introduction of generative AI tools is already changing how institutions do business. The University of Washington has eliminated the application essay. How can anyone be sure where the author's words begin or end, or if the words come from AI’s most popular app, ChatGPT?
Many large employers are doing away with cover letters. I’ve seen some headlines where major school districts in our state have decided to ban ChatGPT. What does that do for their students if their peers can play with ChatGPT and learn how to use it as a tool? The kids will find it and use it anyway, so why not teach them the strengths, limitations, and biases within it?
The kids will find it and use it anyway, so why not teach them the strengths, limitations, and biases within it?
In these times of transition, there’s always resistance. Good technology is a tool to help make things easier. Ideally, it makes something that used to be hard and challenging more accessible to a wider audience. Think about the transition from film photography to digital. Established photographers often frowned upon technologies like autofocus until they became the default. Now, the phones in our pockets do amazing things cleaning up photos, and in many cases, doing things cameras that cost five times as much simply can’t do. But some things never change, like composition, framing, and having a photographer’s “eye.” Just because the subject is in focus and the image is sharp and clear doesn't mean it's a great photo.
And just like how photography is more accessible, other worlds will open up now with AI and generative art or text. There will be new skills to learn and uncover, but a writer's voice or an artist’s aesthetic will always be in style. Any new technology can be abused and bring new issues, so leaders need to learn what those might be and the benefits they will bring.
Fortunately, you can start learning quickly. Head to our Appy Hour section this week for a quick primer and more resources on ChatGPT and getting started with AI.
(And yes, I assure you, this column was 100 percent written by a human!)
David Morrill is the AWSP Communications Director. He serves as Managing Editor for Washington Principal.