AI & Artificial General Intelligence (Advanced Lesson Plan)

ESL/EFL Level: Advanced (C1/C2)
Lesson Topics: artificial intelligence, artificial general intelligence, AI in education, AI in healthcare, copyright
Skill Focus
: Speaking, Reading, Vocabulary
Approximate Class Time: 2.25 hours
Lesson Plan Download: PDF Sample | artificial-general-intelligence-advanced-042023.docx (for members)
Lesson Overview:

  • After warm-up questions, students read a 400-word passage. The passage introduces AI, Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), and some of its potential benefits and risks. The passage contains views and quotations from people in the AI field: Sam Altman, Eleizer Yodkowsky, and Geoffrey Hinton. It ends with the recent (March 31, 2023) suggestion that a moratorium be put in place on the development of AI for the sake of public safety.
  • Post-reading activities include comprehension questions and a pair-work activity in which students use vocabulary from the reading to ask each other questions.
  • Afterward, students consider the impacts of AI on several fields and then roleplay two scenarios related to selling AI to a foreign entity and copyright.
  • In the next section, students analyze two paragraphs to try to distinguish which was created by generative AI. This is followed by an activity focusing on the central issues of AI in university education.
  • Next, students discuss (fictional) proposals from an AI-system for improving the healthcare system of a country.
  • All lessons come with warm-up questions, vocabulary questions, and discussion questions.

A 3d rendering of AI encountering humanity (generated by DALL-E)

ADVANCED (C1/C2) Lesson Plan on Artificial General Intelligence

Warm-up Questions

  1. Do you use any AI software such as ChatGPT or Grammarly for your job or personal life?
  2. What does it mean to say that a machine has intelligence?
  3. Are you more excited or worried about the development of AI?

Reading: AGI and Its Consequences

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to revolutionize the world. AI can be divided into two categories: Generative AI and Applied AI. Generative AI, such as ChatGPT, DALL-E, and Midjourney, is used to create new solutions and ideas. It can be used in fields such as gaming, robotics, and even medical diagnostics. Applied AI, on the other hand, is used to make processes more efficient. It is used to automate mundane tasks, optimize processes, and make decisions using data.[1]

The most advanced form of AI is called AGI, or Artificial General Intelligence, which would be capable of learning, generalizing, and understanding the same way that a human being does. Though AGI has yet to arrive (as far as we know), it has the potential to improve quality of life. Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, comments: “We can make people’s lives amazing. We can cure diseases, we can increase material wealth. We can help people be happier.”[2] Altman also believes AGI could bring about major advancements in human understanding. He tweets:

“[I] suspect that to fully understand the universe, we need AGI in a similar way to needing a telescope to understand galaxies…  our unaided faculties are not good enough, and we need better tools… also, [I] think AGI is probably necessary for humanity to survive--our problems seem too big for us to solve without better tools :( ”[3]

Two central issues are control, i.e. maintaining control over the system, and alignment—ensuring that its aims are shared by those of humanity. According to Eliezer Yudokowsky, regarded as the founder of the AGI field, the most obvious result of developing a superhumanly smart AI is human extinction. He likens a conflict between humanity and a superhuman intelligence to “the 11th century trying to fight the 21st century”, or “Australopithecus trying to fight Homo sapiens.” For computer scientist Geoffrey Hinton, we still have breathing room before things get completely out of hand: “it’s not going to happen in the next year or two.”[4] Ultimately, AGI will be able to understand and promote different worldviews. For this reason, he notes, we “don’t want some big for-profit company deciding what’s true.”

Unlike Hinton, others believe that AGI is just around the corner, which is why many tech industry leaders such as Elon Musk and Steve Wozniak are calling for a six-month moratorium on AI development to ensure proper controls are put in place.[5]

Lesson on Artificial General Intelligence: Follow-up Questions

  1. What is your opinion of the passage? Does it fill you with excitement or dread (fear)?
  2. What are the two types of AI mentioned in the passage and how do they differ?
  3. Does Altman share Yudokowsky and Hinton’s views on AGI? Why or why not?
  4. Describe the alignment of an AI system in your own words.
  5. What is the purpose of Yudokowsky’s example of “Australopithecus trying to fight Homo sapien?”
  6. What is the purpose of the moratorium?

Lesson Plan on Artificial Intelligence: Vocabulary

Match the words with their meaning as used in the article.

1.     revolutionize (v)

2.     diagnostics (n)

3.     mundane (adj)

4.     bring (sth) about (phr. v)

5.     faculty (n)

6.     alignment (n)

7.     extinction (n)

8.     liken (v)

9.     breathing room (idiom)

10.  out of hand (idiom)

11.  around the corner (idiom)

12.  moratorium (n)

13.  put (sth) in place (idiom)

a.     an inborn mental/physical ability

b.     the techniques used in identifying the nature of illnesses

c.     a period of rest that allows you to plan what to do next

d.     boring; dull

e.     to change something radically or fundamentally

f.      to arrange so that something can happen; to establish sth

g.     a temporary prohibition (stopping) of an activity

h.     the process of all members of a species dying

i.       out of control

j.       to cause something to happen

k.     a position of agreement or alliance

l.       to compare; to show a similarity between two things

m.    coming very soon

Homework: Circle the words that are new to you. Make sentences with them for homework.

Rewrite the below questions using a phrase from above. Then ask them to a partner.

  1. What/AI policies/be arranged/protect/humanity?


  1. You/compare/AI/to/tool like a calculator?


  1. AI/radically change/field of employment


  1. What/boring/aspects/your life/automate?



AGI Lesson Plan: What impact do you think AI will have on the following areas?

Pos. or Neg.Impacts
Art & Literature
World Peace
Quality of Life
(Other: ___________)

Artificial General Intelligence Lesson Plan: Role-play

Background: You and your partner run an AI startup company, InTense. You believe InTense is very near AGI capability. Recently, a foreign entity (they would not disclose if it’s a corporation or a government) has offered you two billion dollars for InTense.

[Notes: Read only your role-play. Try to use the key phrase if possible.]

Role #1: You are thrilled (very happy). Finally your hard work has paid off. Think of reasons why you should accept the offer. When ready, try to convince your partner.

Key phrase: Finally, retirement seems like it’s right around the corner!

Role #2: You are skeptical. Think of reasons why accepting the offer might not be the best idea. Your partner will start the debate when ready.

Key phrase: If we put the system in the wrong hands, it could easily get out of hand.


Background: You are Naomi Lee, creator a new children’s book, Paolo’s Dream. The story has won the Reading Rocket award for being the coolest book of the year. However, rumors have come out that the story and images were created by AI. A Reading Rocket representative has asked to meet to discuss this.

Naomi Lee: It is true that you generated the book and all of its images using AI. However, according to copyright law, content cannot be copyrighted to AI; only a human (you) can own copyright. This means you are the owner. Also, you were the person who created the prompts for the story (“Write a cool story for children aged 4-6.”) and images. This means you are the creator.  Present your case to the Reading Rocket Rep.

Reading Rocket Rep.: Listen to Naomi's argument. After, decide if you should let her book keep the award or give it to a more deserving author.

Artificial Intelligence in Education (Pair or Group Work)

Task 1: Below are two 75-word paragraphs. Identify which was written by AI. Try to justify your answer.

Generative AI can be a great benefit to students by providing them with personalized learning experiences. Generative AI can be used to create customized study plans based on the student's individual needs and preferences. It can also be used to generate personalized practice tests, helping students become more familiar with the material and increase their understanding. Moreover, generative AI can be used to generate personalized feedback, helping students identify areas of improvement and remain motivated.Generative AI can provide some benefits to students. For instance, tools like OpenAI’s GPT-4 can summarize virtually any topic (except recent ones). Students could then use this information as a starting point for their own research, much like how instructors recommend students use Wikipedia. Another more obvious advantage is that these systems can answer questions on course-related topics and even create quizzes to test student knowledge. This can greatly reinforce learning outside of the classroom.

(Answer in answer key at end of the lesson)

Task 2: You and your partner(s) are professors. There has been a rise in AI use at your university. New policies need to be put in place. Discuss the below issues and come up with a plan.

Issue #1: Paper Exams? Since the pandemic, students have been using their laptops for assignments, including in-class exams. Given the rise of AI (including tools like Grammarly), some teachers want to go back to paper exams.

  • Question: Should universities care about a person’s unassisted (without computer help) abilities? Or should they allow students to use these tools because this is how writing is done today?

Issue #2: Plagiarism: As per your academic honesty policy, students who submit work written by a third party (tutor or AI) receive a zero. However, teachers are worried that it will be increasingly difficult to ‘police’ this issue and determine whether text is AI-generated.

  • Question: Should you stick with your policy? What can be done?

Artificial Intelligence: Enhanced Healthcare Management (Group Work)

You’ve connected a powerful AI to your country’s healthcare system. After a 48-hour assessment, the program has designed a plan to improve the healthcare system by 70% and save your country $400 billion annually! The proposals are below. Discuss and decide whether they should be implemented:

  1. Performing all initial assessments with a web-based AI-powered chatbot
  2. Prioritizing care for younger people with longer lives ahead of them; deprioritizing care for the elderly
  3. Developing cheaper generic medication for all
  4. Prescribing meal plans and exercise programs for citizens with a BMI (Body-Mass-Index) over 30 (class I obesity) to improve population health
  5. Deprioritizing care for people/groups showing a pattern of reckless/unhealthy behavior, i.e. those who consume unhealthy foods or do drugs
  6. Providing free parking for hospital visitors

Lesson on AGI: Other Discussion Questions

  1. Do you share Altman’s view that the problems of humanity are unsolvable by humans?
  2. There have been reports of people falling in love with AI tools. Do you think romantic companionship could be a helpful feature for AI?
  3. What is your favorite AI-related movie?

Wrap-up: Quick Collocation Review

1.      It could revolutionize…

2.      AI could bring about…

3.      mundane…

4.      It’s right…

5.      We still have breathing

6.      Things got completely

7.      Policies must be…

8.      A pattern of…

a)      room

b)      reckless behavior

c)      around the corner

d)      the world

e)      tasks

f)       put in place

g)      out of hand

h)      major advancements

-- Lesson plan on Artificial Intelligence written by Matthew Barton of (copyright). Site members may photocopy and edit the file for their classes. Permission is not given to rebrand the lesson, redistribute it on another platform, or sell it as part of commercial course curriculum. For questions, contact the author.

Possible answers to comprehension questions:

  1. The passage mentions generative and applied AI. The former is creative, and the latter is used to enhance existing tasks or processes.
  2. Altman is hopeful that AGI will bring about positive changes in quality of life and human understanding.
  3. (Alignment is the measure of how similar the system's goals are to those of its users).
  4. He is trying to show how easily AI could eliminate humanity.
  5. The purpose of the moratorium is to give companies/organizations more time to consider the safety of their products and to ensure that policies are in place to prevent them from harming human civilization.

Vocabulary Answers: 1-e, 2-b, 3-d, 4-j, 5-a, 6-k, 7-h, 8-L, 9-c, 10-i, 11-m, 12-g, 13-f

AI in Education: Task 1 Answer: The paragraph on the left is AI-generated. Some distinctions:

  • The left paragraph is more efficient in that it presents more ideas in fewer words.
  • The left paragraph is general, but the right paragraph contains references to specific entities such as Wikipedia or Chat-GPT.
  • The right paragraph has a phrase in parentheses, suggesting the ideas could probably be organized more optimally, but the writer has a (bad?) habit of using parentheses as a personal style.

Collocation answers: 1-d, 2-h, 3-e, 4-c, 5-a, 6-g, 7-f, 8-b


1 comments on “AI & Artificial General Intelligence (Advanced Lesson Plan)

  1. Frenzy M. (Posted on 5-26-2024 at 09:10) Reply

    Excellent work! Very useful. Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *