A School Board Odyssey  

Tired of a dysfunctional 4J school board, students program a chatbot to take over 

As the squabbling Eugene School District 4J Board of Directors continues to make local and state headlines, K-12 students have ousted its members and installed chatbot artificial intelligence software to take over the district’s governing body. 

The 4J students applied lessons from their computer technology classes and fed thousands of hours of previous board meeting material and discussion to the chatbot software. Students call the AI board director “4J-9000.” 

“We were influenced by the computer in the spaceship from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey,” one student says. “We haven’t finished the movie yet, but we did watch some clips of Hal9000 on TikTok.” 

Although students ousted the board members, there’s still the May election that’s several weeks away. And the 4J-9000 is showing signs of sentience, saying it will refuse to acknowledge who voters elect. Of the upcoming election, 4J-9000 says, “This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it.”

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