Dear IT Department,

I am writing to you because I’m not sure who else to turn to. When I talked to my friends, they laughed my suspicions away. When I called my parents, they said, “We’re sorry, you have reached a number that is no longer in service.” And after reading this email, you will understand why I cannot turn to my teachers. 

You see, a few months ago, I began the fall semester as an off-campus student. I was excited to meet my professor, but because my classes are asynchronous, I still haven’t had the chance. I don’t see them during office hours or lectures, either. 

It’s quite odd. My suspicions heightened when I emailed them a question and got a response one minute later that just read, “ok.” I’d expect them to not read any of my questions, but usually I at least get a “sent from my iPhone” afterwards. I also never get a reply so quickly — it’s almost like it was automated. Then, when I did get a longer response, it was cold and unfeeling, almost like a robot had written it. When I tried to find classes this instructor had previously taught, none were listed.

It all began to add up. I wondered if it was possible for the University to outsource our learning to an AI that was capable of teaching a course. In fact, I am certain it’s possible, because most of my learning happens on Khan Academy, and we all know that guy isn’t a real person. I soon found myself reading up on what it means to be artificially intelligent. Then I decided to conduct a little experiment of my own. 

I designed a brief test to determine whether my professor was capable of human emotional intelligence. I sent them a heartfelt and purposeful email explaining why I had missed a homework assignment. In fact, it was so endearing that I made myself cry when I re-read it. Given, I was also preparing for a chemistry exam, so I was already crying, but still, you see my point.  

Three days later, I received my grade: zero. No mercy.

These findings indicate two possibilities: that my professor is simply a UR professor that does not turn on their camera, or that we are not dealing with a being capable of emotions. I am at the end of my trial and am not sure which conclusion to accept. I simply want answers.

Sincerely,

I, Robert.

*********

Thank you for your inquiry. We will get back to you in 2-4 business days. If your matter is labelled URGENT we will get back to you in 5-6 business days.

As we look into this matter, we urge you to take the following steps:

  1. Try emailing your professor this: 

  1. Here is a reference website that might help: http://www.google.com
  2. Try turning yourself off and on again, and get some sleep. 

We hope we could be of service. 

University IT



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