The Artificial Intelligence Lesson

The Artificial Intelligence Lesson

This lesson is meant to offer an introduction and understanding on artificial intelligence and how it is being used and implemented in our work, studies and everyday life. I have tried to include the relevant vocabulary and content that can facilitate a discussion with students as well as help them gain a better understanding of how artificial intelligence can be used in different situations and it’s differences to the internet. Click on the link for the internet lesson. Feel free to adapt these ideas for the appropriate level of your students but most of what is here will be for Upper-Intermediate or higher, ideally advanced level English learners.

Lesson time: 30-60min

Warm-up/Introduction

Write the abbreviation AI on the board and get students to tell you what it stands for 🙂 Draw a circle around it and ask them in pairs to brainstorm what words come to mind when they think of artificial intelligence. I have created a Padlet for this so you supplement student answers with it during the lesson, and then provide them a link to it so they can have it as a reference. Here it is:

 

Follow-up Speaking

  • Does artificial intelligence excite you or does it scare you? Why? provide justification
  • How would you like artificial intelligence to help you? in your life/work/studies?

Vocabulary

Here are words I have chosen based on my teaching experience that students should be familiar with and know on this topic as it relates to practical understanding and applications of this technology:

big data, autonomous, algorithm, chatbot, data mining, dataset, neural network, pattern recognition, Turing test, plagiarism

There are no exercises here but you can introduce these words at different stages of the lesson to check meaning. For example, with the listening task below ask students:

  • Which AI type uses data mining and a dataset? Which uses a neural network? Which uses pattern recognition?
  • What technologies use algorithms? give examples.

For The Turing test you can provide a multiple choice question that introduces the vocabulary task:

What’s a Turing test?

a) a test that checks how smart a machine/robot is

b) a test of a machine’s ability to exhibit human behaviour

c) a test done only by robots and machines

d) a test on whether a machine/robot shows emotion

Answer: b

Here’s a TEDed youtube video to supplement this opening question. And here are some simple comprehension questions for it after your students watch it – it’s only approximately 4min long 🙂

  1. When did Turing write his famous paper on artificial intelligence and his test? 1950
  2. What was Turing’s prediction about his test and when did he say it would happen? That by the year 2000, a computer with 100mb of memory would be able to pass his test
  3. What approach did the ‘cleverbot’ take to beating the Turing test? Statistically analysing huge databases of real conversations to determine the best responses.
  4.  What part of human behaviour is incredibly complex for chatbots? language

Check the speaking section below for questions to supplement this with.

Reading/Listening

I tend to rely on YouTube and Simplilearn has this video on what artificial intelligence is and the main points are covered in less than 4min, so suitable for an English language classroom. The visuals help students follow the information provided, which is another bonus for lower levels. Here are some comprehension questions to provide students:

  1. Who coined the term ‘artificial intelligence’ and when?
  2. What are the three types of AI? provide an example for each
  3. How can machine learning be used?
  4. What are some of the applications of “deep learning AI”?
  5. What’s NLP?
  6. How does AI assist doctors?
  7. What is a job you can do if you want to develop AI?

Once you’ve checked answers introduce the image in the padlet I have shared above on “The 20 ways you can use ChatGPT in the classroom” by Matt Miller from Ditchthattextbook.

Ask students to read through all the ideas and then come up with an example for as many of them as they can in 4min. Get feedback and discuss and supplement students knowledge on this.

Reading

This section if about identifying where artificial intelligence already exists. Students should be asked to brainstorm in pairs or threes a list of applications AI is in currently?

Get feedback on the board on the examples and ask students to rank them in importance to them personally. Ask them to discuss with a partner their chosen ranking and to justify these choices. Then introduce the reading.

The reading is one of two articles in the padlet on examples of AI in our lives today. You will have to copy and paste the text to suit your needs and you don’t have to use the whole text.

Here are some questions for comprehension:

  1. What are some of the AI tasks that chatbots offer? list three of them
    Answering customer queries, Providing recommendations, Performing transactions, Resolving issues without human intervention.
  2. List two of the ways home assistants use to understand verbal commands and respond appropriately?                                                                              They use natural language processing (NLP), ML, statistical analysis and algorithmic execution
  3. Give two examples of personalised recommendation algorithms?                                                                                                                                                                            google search, netflix recommended watches, Amazon buying recommendations
  4. How does AI-powered machine learning influence social media feeds? list three examples.  monitor content, suggest connections and personalize users’ feeds and ads based on their interests and preferences. 

These questions connect to the vocabulary I introduced earlier and get’s incorporated here.

Follow-up Speaking for this task

  • Which of the AI-powered tools mentioned in the article do you use the most?
  • which do you find the most useful?
  • Which provides the best/worst results?

Speaking

Here are some discussion questions that can be used in different sections of the lesson or left for the end.

  • Can you think of any ways AI can be implemented into the work you do? How can it be used in your studies/work? give some examples
  • What’s the difference between artificial intelligence and human intelligence?
  • What are the benefits and dangers of artificial intelligence?
  • Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages of using AI? make an argument.

 

Was this lesson idea useful? You can find more by checking out the whole collection here? Need more tips? Check out the YouTube channel with over 200 episodes on teaching and learning English.

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