By the time you read this, I will have turned 65, and my granddaughter will be just over 13 months old. This prompted me to reminisce about the technological advances I have seen and wonder about the ones she will see. Many of you attended the NSBA Annual Conference and heard the inventor of Siri, Adam Cheyer, speak about recent advances in artificial intelligence (AI). Think about that as you read the following six paragraphs.

Technology has come a long way over the past 65 years, and it’s hard to imagine a world without all the gadgets and gizmos we have now. Let’s take a hilarious look at some of the technological advancements that have changed our lives.

Remember the first computer? It was about the size of a house and probably had less memory than your smartphone. It’s amazing how far we’ve come from those giant machines that used to take up entire rooms. Nowadays, we have laptops that are thinner than a slice of bread and can hold more information than a library.

And what about the internet? Remember when it used to take forever to connect to the internet, and you had to listen to that god-awful dial-up sound? Now, we have high-speed internet that’s faster than a cheetah on Red Bull.

Mobile technology has also come a long way. The first cellphone was basically a brick with an antenna, and you could only make calls on it. Now, we have smartphones that can do just about anything, from taking photos and sending emails to ordering pizza and playing video games.

And let’s not forget about social media. Remember when you used to have to actually talk to people to find out what they were up to? Now, we can just stalk them on Facebook and Instagram and see every single thing they're doing.

In conclusion, technology has come a long way over the past 65 years, and it’s hard to imagine a world without all the amazing gadgets and gizmos we have now. But sometimes it’s fun to look back and laugh at how far we've come.

The six paragraphs above were written in less than five seconds by Sage, an AI-driven Chatbot. First, I asked for 250 words on technological advances over the past 65 years. Sage spit out a report that sounded like it was written as a high school senior theme by a student with excellent grammar (although, in an ironic twist, Grammarly disagreed with a few of Sage's word choices) and limited personality. I felt pretty smug, thinking this thing would never replace my rapier wit and razor-sharp insights.

I should never have prompted it to “write the same paper humorously, in the style of John Heim.” You just read what it produced in under five seconds, with rapier wit and razor-sharp insights included. You will have to take my word for it, but I planned to use the comparison of the house-sized computer and the brick with an antenna BEFORE I got the big idea to have Sage write my column. After reading my thoughts written by AI, I could barely stifle my desire to show this little Dell laptop who is boss using a baseball bat.

Cheyer met with the NSBA Board of Directors after he spoke at our conference. He is a brilliant man with a refreshingly normal personality. (Let’s see you write THAT sentence, ChatBot!) He wanted to let the board know that schools need to be thinking about how to use and prevent the misuse of this fantastic new tool. For my granddaughter's sake, I hope you will take the time to do so!

Editor’s note: Read our story on page 30 adapted from Cheyer’s conference address. He will be leading an upcoming NSBA webinar on AI. Please watch for information on how you can participate.

John Heim is the executive director and CEO of NSBA.

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