The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning
Educators in the field of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning (AEOL) are being confronted with a new challenge: the growing influence of artificial intelligence (AI). Dr. Chris North, a senior lecturer at the University of Canterbury, initiated a discussion about AI’s impact on this field, leading to the publication of an article titled “The impact of artificial intelligence on adventure education and outdoor learning: international perspectives.” Contributors from various countries shared their insights on the subject.
While AI tools like ChatGPT have the potential to enhance experiences in nature by planning expeditions and creating visuals, they have limitations. AI cannot capture the reflective story of an individual’s experience in nature or the transformation of understanding that occurs. Dr. North notes that AI reflects the knowledge and information available on the internet, making it biased, limited, and superficial.
Another concern raised by Dr. Te Hurinui Karaka-Clarke, Head of the School of Teacher Education at the University of Canterbury, is the danger of AI becoming a form of cultural appropriation. AI has access to Māori knowledge, which may be used out of context and for unintended purposes. Unauthorised use of this knowledge jeopardizes its authenticity and integrity.
Additional topics discussed in the article include how to prepare student-teachers for a “post-plagiarism world,” how to contextualize AI within the field, and the importance of becoming “AI literate” ahead of the technological curve.
While AI can be a tool for democratizing AEOL, it cannot fully replicate the unique sensory experiences of outdoor education. Physical communication and engagement with all senses are integral to these experiences, which AI cannot reproduce.
In conclusion, the growing influence of AI poses both opportunities and challenges for adventure education and outdoor learning. Educators need to be careful about the limitations and biases of AI while also benefiting from its potential as a powerful tool.
– The Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning: “The impact of artificial intelligence on adventure education and outdoor learning: international perspectives” available upon request.