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Grads who are only artificially intelligent

 | August 17, 2017

UCSI's Tajuddin Rasdi says universities are not teaching their students how to think critically, which makes them replaceable by machines.

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PETALING JAYA: An academic has accused Malaysian universities of producing graduates who cannot think critically or empathise with others.

Tajuddin Rasdi, a professor at UCSI University, said a recent survey finding that one out of three university students “couldn’t care less about corruption” showed that they were being taught to think like robots.

The survey, conducted by the Integrity Institute of Malaysia (IIM), sought to find out students’ perception of corruption. A third of the respondents said it would not be corruption if a person received gifts in the form of money, goods or services in exchange for services rendered.

If students were taught to think like robots, Tajuddin said, then they could easily be replaced by machines.

He said: “Whenever we talk about the achievements of machines or artificial intelligence, a favourite question to ask is: ‘Will computers take over people’s jobs?’

“I think this fear is widespread because universities in Malaysia are producing artificial intelligence, not real intelligence.”

He alleged that universities were not encouraging students to use the part of the brain that differentiates humans from robots.

“When we talk about empathy, for example, computers aren’t able to empathise. It is human beings, with their higher intelligence, who are able to empathise.

“So if human beings can no longer empathise, then how are we different from computers? And if you think like a computer, then why shouldn’t you be replaced by a machine?

“When you don’t know how to think and have such low intelligence, then of course computers will take over your jobs.”

Bernama reported last month that a total of 402 students took part in the IIM survey. About 30% of the respondents were from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), 47% from Universiti Sains Malaysia, 15% from University Teknologi Mara and the rest from other universities.


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