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Critical Thinking in a World of AI

May 21, 2024
An image of a gorilla hand from the May 3, 2024, The Week Junior episode.

Hello Critical Thinkers,

"Mom, something is wrong with this photo. They say it is a gorilla hand, but I don't think it is."

My daughter recently received a subscription to The Week Junior, a weekly magazine for kids. She loves to read and learn about current events. 

She might be a future The New York Times subscriber. She's had the magazine for a few days and can't wait for future subscriptions. She has read it four times and even took it to school to read at recess.

She noticed this photo in the magazine and circled what she found odd about it. 

First, it looked like someone had painted a human hand. Second, the lighting looked strange. Finally, the nails were too glossy.

All of these discrepancies led to her conclusion that the photo might be fake.

Now it is a real photo--which made a great learning opportunity.

BUT--as a mom and a media professor, I was so proud of her.

This level of critical thinking and healthy skepticism is what we need.

As we enter a new world where AI can easily generate disinformation, we all need to take responsibility for our digital literacy and develop skills to understand when something is true or not.

She made some valid points. Today, when she gets home from school, we will research the photographer Michael Stavrakakis because she knows it is important to take the time to do your own research. 

And she might learn something new, which she is always up for.


The image is from the May 3, 2024, The Week Junior episode.


Inspiration is everywhere.

Keep discovering. There is always more to learn.

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