Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

Things slowed for a bit, but in the last few days we has another wave of chatGPT and AI posts, so I collect them here. Here's what the discussion looked like:

Should chatGPT be used in learning? It should be thought of as a tool, says Tim Stahmer, just like "tools to help with that syntax, grammar, spelling stuff." It's just assistive technology, writes Mary Guillory. For example, Kristal Kuykendall writes about "MathGPT: a Chatbot Tutor Built Specific to a Math Textbook". And like any tool, chatGPT should not be cited as an author, says arXiv in its new policy, but its use should be referenced in the paper. Springer Nature has said essentially the same thing. Maybe it can fix what's broken in education. Maybe it can help with assessment. Maybe it means it's pointless to teach students how to write essays.

Can chatGPT or AI in general create quality original content? Some wish it could. Peter Houston offers an overview of BuzzFeed's plan to make it happen. Poynter demonstrates the AI generation of fake news sites in minutes. Also in Poynter, Seth Smalley asks whether ChatGPT could supercharge false narratives? I'd say yes, but not as fast as Fox News. Then there's the AI that creates an endless Seinfeld show about nothing - I watched it, and it's frankly dreadful. The stuff of nightmares. There are fears text-generating AI could be an industry-killer, though Arvind Narayanan calls it a "bullshit generator" and some, like Evan Armstrong, argue that AI looks like a bubble.

We had more on the 'AI will not replace teachers' front. Some teachers are discussiong (amusingly) whether chatGPT will be 'allowed'. Maha Bali comments on my thoughts about about what teachers can do that AI can't. Some interesting Twitter discussion follows. But more likely, the new role of teachers will be to teach AI. Also, Christina Hendricks offers an overview of ethical issues involved in using chatGPT (I'll cross-reference this list with my own). Contact North is creating an AI Hub that pulls together and highlights key applications of AI in higher education, with a focus on practice and practical applications. Finally, the days of free chatGPT are waning, as openAI as announced a $20/month subscription model.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: Feb 03, 2023 1:43 p.m.