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Richard Benjamins, Head of AI at Telefónica: "ChatGPT is an opportunity for students to think more"

MADRID, 7 May.

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Richard Benjamins, Head of AI at Telefónica: "ChatGPT is an opportunity for students to think more"


The person in charge of Telefónica's artificial intelligence strategy, Richard Benjamins, has urged demystifying that tools like ChatGPT "are going to make students work or think less" and has defended that "it is an opportunity to make them think more or more different way and thus be able to distinguish biases".

"Just as today we have anti-plagiarism or anti-spam systems, the same will soon happen with tools such as ChatGPT", Benjamins asserted this Saturday at the First Ibero-American Meeting of Humanities Professors, which brought together some 600 teachers and humanists at CaixaForum Madrid.

In the appointment, the challenges and opportunities of artificial intelligence in education or the cultivation of spirituality as a tool to improve the mental health of young people have been addressed.

"We must not save the Humanities, it is the Humanities that have come to save us", the general director of Siena Education, José María de Moya, organizer of the event, cried out at the beginning of the event, who was accompanied by the secretary General of the Organization of Ibero-American States (OEI), Mariano Jabonero, and the dean of the Official College of Teachers of Madrid, Amador Sánchez.

Jabonero, for his part, has stressed that "through the Humanities we can achieve a more just and free society", while Sánchez has emphasized "the context of essential balance" that the Humanities must enjoy with the rest of disciplines.

The inaugural conference was given by the philosopher and writer Fernando Savater, who, under the title 'The explorers of the spirit', gave a speech in defense of the Humanities: "If we abandon them, we are destined to become machines that cannot stop to think or look for the meaning we need".

Along these lines, he has referred to the task of those who today dedicate themselves to the Humanities as "humanism against the current" because, in his words, "extolling the human is seen as a form of arrogance, while erasing the specific of the human is applauded."

In addition, the relationship of the Humanities with technology, mental health and literature have been the topics that have occupied the three conversations of the meeting.

In the first, where Benjamins has appealed to see opportunities in tools such as ChatGPT, the professor of Microbiology, Ignacio López-Goñi, has argued that "science is also culture". For this reason, in his opinion, "it is a mistake so soon to divide young people into sciences and letters, as well as encourage the 'smart' to go to science." "We need a holistic education", he has sentenced.


The mental health of the students has occupied the second discussion, which has brought together the dean of the Official College of Psychology of Madrid, José Antonio Luengo; to the doctor in Psychology and ex-defender of the Minor, Javier Urra, and to the psychologist and V Prize of Young Theological Essay PPC, Noël Sèmassa.

Luengo has warned that certain technologies have been designed to create addiction", while Urra has warned that "teachers are supporting a childhood and a youth adrift and disillusioned due to a lack of sense of transcendence", for which he has urged "caring for children's mental health".

For his part, Sèmassa referred to the role of the family and called on parents to "dedicate time to the spiritual formation of their children so that they find meaning in life".

The historical novel has starred in the last of the conversations, in which the president and vice-president of the Writers with History association, Antonio Pérez Henares and Isabel San Sebastián, have highlighted the role of this literary genre.

In this way, Pérez Henares has defended that "the historical novel can contribute to answering and replying to this new trend that seeks not only to rewrite, but also to erase and cancel our past". Along the same lines, San Sebastián has described as "outrageous" the fact that "events that occurred a thousand years ago are judged with contemporary criteria" and has referred to the historical novel as "a first-rate educational tool".

On the other hand, the international panorama of the Humanities was exposed by the director of the educational area of ​​the OECD, Andreas Schleicher, who has claimed "sense, compassion, the relationship with other cultures and traditions" as "what differentiates us as human persons". "In a world where technology shapes our lives, we have to ask ourselves what identifies us," he claimed.

The closing ceremony of the event was carried out by Carmen, the director of the Royal Academy of History, Iglesias, who stressed that "the teaching of history and the Humanities is a priority".