4/10/13

Computers Grading Papers? What Could Be Lost?

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/05/science/new-test-for-computers-grading-essays-at-college-level.html?
Notice that when the problem is efficiency and cost, the answer is always to yield to those values. If the problem is large classes, the answer is to invent a machine, not make the classes smaller. If the problem is the cost of human graders, the answer is not to find a way to pay people to do an important job, but to replace them with machines. And notice that the experts who are deciding if the software is good enough are engineers. Engineers are, for the most part, completely subordinated to the values of efficiency and cost. If they're capable of just spelling out other values, they're still highly unlikely to understand how other values could be as important as these. They are of the machine, in the machine, for the machine. And how could you not want what they want? They'll just say you're being "irrational." And so will the entrepreneurs who back them--because they, too, have subordinated themselves to the twin values of efficiency and cost. That's how you make money.

1 comment:

PSC 4215 Women's Rights Human Rights--Everett said...

I imagine you are talking about this with your students. We need all the supporters we can get!
I'd like to see the computer "grading" results. I imagine they look like the assessment rubrics (which I'm not opposed to) where there are points for organization, mechanics, number of sources etc. but there isn't a way to intelligently discuss "content" of the ideas expressed, whether the consideration of alternative points of view are serious or superficial, whether the points related to the moral position adopted are consistent, stance taken toward citizenship and democratic participation.