Since its release in November 2022, OpenAI’s ChatGPT has caused a stir, with a barrage of op-eds and news stories focusing on how the program opens up possibilities for academic misconduct by students.
But for the University of Waterloo professor, the interest in the new artificial intelligence is more about how it could be used in educational services and how it could impact entire sectors of the economy.
“The first thing you want to say is that it’s super disruptive,” says Dr. Marcel O’Gorman is Professor of English at the University of Waterloo and Founding Director of the Critical Media Lab. “The question is, what is it disrupting? Sure, some of the discussion has to be about the impact on education, but I think that might be missing the point.”
O’Gorman points out that programs like ChatGPT reveal the constructive nature of the language used in so much public life, for example from companies, governments and organizations of all kinds. Language used when speaking to the public, for example in marketing or public relations, can now easily be seen as “boilerplate” because the same text is written by AI.
But while such disruption can spur innovation and force rethink, O’Gorman says it can also have potentially negative consequences for public life. “Because if people suddenly don’t know if something was generated by a robot, that could further exacerbate the erosion of trust we’re experiencing.”
The Future of Disruptive Technology
As for its immediate impact on universities, O’Gorman believes that while there are some obvious concerns to consider, there are many more possibilities and opportunities.
“At Waterloo, we are a high-tech university with tech-savvy students. We are at the forefront of experimenting with these new technologies as they come out, and even predicting their potential impact on society. operating in China and has the expertise to adopt and use rapidly evolving digital technologies.”
“We’re doing everything we can to encourage this,” O’Gorman continued. “And we can also train students to prioritize human well-being when designing the future of disruptive technologies.”
As for any concerns that alleged students cheating on ChatGPT might raise, O’Gorman noted that there are always straightforward ways to tailor assessments to foster a culture of academic integrity and engagement. One easy way to do this is to have students complete coursework that involves knowledge creation and assessment, rather than more basic assessments of memorization or simple comprehension.
“In my classes, I have students create original designs, original objects, artefacts, whatever it is. Then their written work is to analyze and evaluate what they made, how they made it, and how they made it Reason. You can’t ChatGPT because it’s unique in the world and students are doing novel work.”
O’Gorman said he is looking for ways to incorporate the use of ChatGPT and other new AIs into his upcoming courses and workshops with the Critical Media Lab.
Provided by University of Waterloo
quote: Higher Education Sector Must Adopt Emerging AI Technologies in Education (2023, Jan 30), Retrieved Jan 30, 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-01-post-secondary-sector -embrace-emerging-ai.html
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