Artificial Intelligence

Is humanity about to embrace cyborgism to « correct » nature, enhance humans, or even solve environmental problems ? And what may be the risks or downsides ?

Week 1 : 16th March — Neil Harbisson, the first officially recognized cyborg. Between fascination and threat.

ES : baccalaureat Listening comprehension

Here are some links to prepare your oral comprehension exam. Just click on the numbers underneath

  1. Page with many audio documents and tips
  2. An interesting audio document on AI

Meet Neil Harbisson

Neil Harbisson is the first registered cyborg in the world. What makes him so special ? What about him can bring hopes or threats for humanity ? You may…

1) listen  to the document exclusively from 0:00 to 3:31 and from 7:18 to the end

2) have a look at the vocabulary list in « comprehension » first (on the right under the question mark)



Here are

1) a list of vocabulary to help you understand the document and

2) a few questions to check your understanding. You will find the answers at the end.


Here are some guidelines to help you use the document for the baccalauréat

Week 2 : 23rd March — Is the future transhuman ?


Get started

Kurzweil believes that humans will merge with intelligent computers around the year 2030.  The hybrid mind will then be able to roam a universe of its own creation, and directly access the Internet.

Now, why would humans want a union between them and AI systems? Are the sole causes our will to compete with the divine,  our thrist for knowledge and our need to progress ? Or is there more to it ?


Written comprehension

Why does Musk believe it is necessary for humankind to merge with machines ?


Here are some guidelines to help you use the document for the baccalauréat

Week 3 : 30th March — What´s a hero ? –> Notion : « Myths and Heroes »


Get started

One of the four notions is « Myths and Heroes ».

Here is a document that you can use for this notion. It can be used as an introduction and to justify why you think that somebody is heroic.

You can explore the notion through all af the topics we have studied, be it African American History, Gender Identity or Artificial Intelligence.


Listening comprehension

What makes a hero ?

Listen and then click on the right to see how you can use the document for the baccalaureat.


Here are some guidelines to help you use the document for the baccalauréat

Weeks 4-6 : Submit your 2 papers on the notions you chose to work on



Pick 2 notions among the 4 on the syllabus

You already had to submit one in February. Now you select 2 others. (you will leave one out)



How ?

  • Method : For tips, look at the methodology papers I gave you this year and my remarks on the paper you submitted for the very first notion
  • ES refer to 3 or 4 documents studied in the English class, L : 4 to 5 documents.
  • Write a full introduction and conclusion.
  • For the rest write bullet points, explain how your documents illustrate your arguments and progressively conclude on what each argument makes you progress in your demonstration

Where to SenD it ?

The best option is to drop them on pronote.

If you are experiencing any difficulty, you can send them to my professional email address.

Weeks 7-8 : AI and myths _ the power of myths, legends and allegories in guiding us when exploring the Unknown.

« Wähle, Wanderer, deinen Weg mit Vernunft » (Goethe)

Before the conference (or afterwards if you have not had time before)

1) Listen and fill in the blanks


  • Take the document you downloaded on Pronote to fill in the blanks. It is a script of the audio document you will listen to.
  • Then click here and press « listen » under the image of Frankenstein´s monster.
  • The script is limited to parts of the audio document.  Those pieces are indicated  on the script.






2) Aim of our video conference



    • Get you to speak and interact
    • Find out what myths, legends, popular stories and allegories are about progress and what messages they contain
    • Find out how those stories can help us on our way towards progress and specifically when an AI system that can compete with human intelligence emerges

After the conference



After the  conference, I invite you to watch this scene from The Matrix. You may also follow the script and try to fill in the blanks. (upload it from pronote – cahier de textes – Tues, 26th May)

What allegory does the scene allude to ?

If you need to brush up your philosophy lessons on this cornerstone of the syllabus, check it with this clear and well-made video






4) Speak


Pick some of the following questions underneath and talk for 2mn. Record yourself (video or audio) and post your work on the class´s padlet.

For the password check the message I sent via pronote  on 18th May (discussion) and 28th May (cahier de textes)

Think of writing the subject(s) you chose to talk about in your title or as a comment under your document.



    1.  What are the lessons about the Allegory of the Cave that one can derive for mankind ?
    2.  Explain the parallel between the Matrix and the Cave.
    3.  Present the film´s message on AI.
    4.  At the beginning of the MAtrix, there is a  close-up on Jean Baudrillard´s Simulacres and simulation published in 1981. He puts forward that consumer culture is a world in which imitations of reality are actually more real than reality itself and that our lives are filled with simulations. (he calls this « hyper reality »).  Give examples of the simulations that surround us and tell what the « sweet and sour » sides of those imitations of reality are.
    5. Robots imitate humans. Social robots act as if they were empathetic to patients or the elderly in need of assistance, Alexa knows your favourite song, Jibo makes jokes and can tell our children bedtime stories, in Japan female robots fill the gap in the lives of lonely old men . We find them friendly and they create real feelings in us that emerge from those moments when we are caught up in the game and we respond as if we were actually interacting with a person. What issues does our creating relationships with robots raise?
    6. Have you watched the Matrix, Ex Machina , or any other film on AI ? Have you read a book on the subject ? Watched an interesting video ? Say why you would recommend it/them.

       If you need more …



       Go and visit educ´arte. it is free until 4th July, and especially have a look at that page dedicated to the history and culture of the US with a number of interesting videos

      If you have any other tips, tell me and I will publish them here



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