Education in the Age of AI: Florentin Bota's Transformative Talk at TEDx Avram Iancu

Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 16/04/2024.

By Aronescu Adia


"Imagine a world that is limitless, personalized and always available, allowing students to reach their full potential" is how Florentin Bota sees the relationship between artificial intelligence and today's students, the so-called digital natives.

When the audience at the TEDx conference was challenged to respond honestly to "raise your hand if you have used them this year, continue to hold your hand up if you have used them in the last week" most of the hands in the room were raised and continued to be raised. The result was unsurprising as the request referred to using at least one AI tool like GoogleTranslate, ChatGPT, Notion AI, etc.

But where did it all start... technology, people's addiction to it, Florentin's passion for programming and computers? Florentin himself answered the last question with an anecdote from his childhood, a memory he shares with George who, as part of a challenge, tried to set the wheels of a cart in motion. That was point 0, "because that's where it all started, that was our first hard problem to solve."


Florentin describes himself as a stubborn and enthusiastic individual, with a lot of curiosity that drives him to stay up-to-date with the new technologies. But these are constantly changing and improving every day. This is where our curiosity about change comes in, should we be afraid of it?

He reassures us, explaining that speed is not the problem, but how we use technology. "A little fear helps because it makes us more responsible". Awareness is the first step in tackling such a dilemma correctly, in a world of rapid and continuous change. However, it is important to understand that change also brings new opportunities and that we can adapt and evolve. Fear of the unknown can be turned into a drive for growth and development. However, too much fear is detrimental, so we need to be careful.

The TEDx Avram Iancu talk on 16th March also addressed the topic of good practice in education. Florentin has an active involvement in the academic field, as PhD Asist. at the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science of Babes-Bolyai University. He brought up the use of artificial intelligence by both students and teachers and the basic rules both parties need to follow for this to work.


The example given about Brâncuși, when a student solved his homework using ChatGPT only to be lectured by his mother, was a very powerful one. We are dealing with a world where AI becomes "a friend, a partner", as Florentin calls it, when used properly. The end of the example was the student's response "and now I know who Brancusi is", after the homework was done with conversational AI, because we are dealing with a question-answer system. So, to say that AI becomes the students' friend is not far from the truth. A close relative for all of us!

In conclusion, Florentin Bota brings attention to the challenges and opportunities of the interactions between people, especially students, and AI through this TEDx. He also concludes by encouraging a responsible approach and says that now is the time to evolve "from the cart, to the rocket".

We have the responsibility to set the wheels in motion!