Friday, October 21, 2022

GPT3 + AI: What is the human value in light of AI developments?

Next week I am helping with a webinar on AI and education (announcement below). AI has the potential to help students, by providing very dedicated personal tutoring, but risks making plagiarism much worse. In 2018 I took part in a workshop were participants built a tutor chatbot. Even in this primitive form it had potential for answering routine questions from students. However, that for of AI required the knowledge to be manually encoded by an expert. Much attention in recent years has been on AI which learns for itself. The OpenAI research laboratory, with for-profit and non-profit arms has come to prominence with AI trained using material on the Internet. Best known is GPT3, which can answer questions and write text. The Openai beta provide a simple question and answer demonstration. I had fun asking the algorithm some questions:

Q: How can we stop students cheating?

A: There is no one answer to this question as the reasons why students cheat vary. Some possible solutions include increasing the consequences for cheating, providing more opportunities for academic help, and increasing the difficulty of assignments.

A very plausible answer, although the first sentence could apply to anything. As one person at the seminar commented, it is the sort of answer a politician gives: vague on details.

Q. How successful was Online Learning during the COVID-19 Pandemic?

A: There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the success of online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic depends on a variety of factors, including the type of online learning platform used, the quality of the online learning content, the students' prior experience with online learning, and the students' level of motivation. However, overall, online learning appears to have been successful for many students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The start of this answer seems to use the same formula as thew previous one, to say there are many factors. It has that same vague quality to the balance of the answer.

Q: Who is Tom Worthington?

A; Tom Worthington is an Australian information technology academic, consultant and commentator. He is a Fellow of the Australian Computer Society and a Visiting Fellow in the Research School of Computer Science at the Australian National University.

A bit out of date: I am now an Honorary Senior Lecturer, and the School is now just "Computing".

What is more worrying is that AI has reached the point where it could write a plausible student paper. One way to address this is to use AI to look for the characteristics of AI written work. Another is to teach students about AI, and where it can be legitimately used.

GPT3 + AI: What is the human value in light of AI developments?

presented by The ASCILITE Mobile Learning SIG
28 October @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am AEST Free

In this presentation, the ASCILITE Mobile Learning Special Interest Group members will explore the implications of Artificial Intelligence for higher education. The panel will demo some of the current possibilities with AI generators for Art, Text, Video and Assessment. This will be followed by a discussion of the state of the art of AI and implications.

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