Group work is terrible and we are doing it all wrong. I see this every day when I look at my students, my children, myself. The endless waiting, the incomprehension, the misunderstandings, and then they don't deliver what's been agreed, or don't understand that I really had no time.
From January 2018 on Cursor will exist exclusively online. Good reason, I thought, to gauge the mood online by talking to a number of chatbots. As the winner of the prestigious Loebner Prize on more than one occasion, the chatbot Rose, created by AI programmer Bruce Wilcox, has already received the accolade ‘Most human-like chatbot’. Perhaps she has a finger on the online pulse? Below is the transcript of our interaction.
Our car has no cruise control. I miss it. Terribly. For of course I want to be at my destination as soon as possible, but I don’t want to find such a hated purple-and-white envelope on my doorstep every couple of weeks. Which means there is a sweet spot where the speedometer gauge would ideally be hovering throughout the route. However, I don’t seem to be able to keep that stupid gauge between those two narrow lines. That is, no longer than for some three minutes. Then my thoughts digress to other matters, other days, other places - as does my speedometer.
The time for a confession has come: ever since primary school I’ve been a fan of Feyenoord. Initially it was a bit awkward for my parents, and my environment also looked at me slightly flummoxed. After all, I’m not from Rotterdam or the surrounding area, but was born in Utrecht. Nowadays people around me regard it as a likeable flaw.
Teachers regularly team up to reflect on education, educational innovation, on what works, what can be better, must be better. Lately we have also been talking frequently about what can go and must go faster.
I have never had any surgery. Nor do I aspire to it. Still, should it ever come to that, then – apart from grilling the surgeon about his alleged expertise in the relevant cutting job – I will also ask him what is on the play list for that day. After all, the choice of music, as a recently published article in Journal of Organizational Behavior would have it, can ensure that the surgical team works together just a touch better.
I receive between 100 and 200 emails per day. Every day. Whereas I may think that that is a lot, it does not appear to be exceptional. Once I have relegated the large quantities of spam, newsgroup facts and ‘reply-to-all’ mails to the digital Walhalla with a fine swipe, there are still dozens of emails left that I do need to do something with - read, a short response, a more extensive action, or in any case save them until I get round to them. If I do get round to them, of course, for there’s the rub.
Psychology is becoming ever more important at TU/e. Technical systems and artifacts, be they games, cars, robots, lighting systems or buildings, are all meant for human end users eventually. It's essential to know how these users perceive, think, feel, and act. The new human-oriented program Psychology & Technology examines every technical design from a psychological perspective.
From now on, on a biweekly basis, Cursor will be taking a closer psychological look at students, teachers, labs, technical artifacts, the workplace, the scientific business, campus, education, and websites.