Artificial intelligence (AI) language models like ChatGPT, BLOOM, and OPT-175B are a hot topic of conversation in academic circles. What are they? Should they be allowed in educational settings? Will they make us dumber? Will their use lead to widespread cheating? Can we use them to promote critical thinking and writing skills? How?
To assist in writing this blog, I employed ChatGPT to answer these questions.
What are artificial intelligence language models?
I asked ChatGPT to… explain artificial intelligence language models to someone who has never heard of them before. ChatGPT’s response:
Artificial intelligence language models are computer programs designed to understand and generate human language. These models are trained on large amounts of text data, allowing them to recognize patterns and relationships between words and phrases.
One common type of language model is called a "generative" model, which means that it can create new text based on the patterns it has learned. For example, a language model might be trained on a large collection of news articles and then used to generate a new article on a given topic.
Another type of language model is a "predictive" model, which is designed to predict the next word in a sentence based on the context of the preceding words. For example, if a predictive model sees the words "I love to eat ice cream," it might predict that the next word is "too" or "every day."
Language models have many practical applications, including automated translation, text summarization, and chatbots. They can also be used to analyze large amounts of text data, such as customer reviews or social media posts, to gain insights into customer sentiment and behavior.
Overall, artificial intelligence language models are an important tool for making computers better at understanding and generating human language, which has the potential to improve many aspects of our lives.
Should AI language models be allowed in educational settings?
Chat GPT's response...
AI language models can be very useful in educational settings, as they can help students to improve their writing and communication skills. These models can provide suggestions for improving grammar, sentence structure, and vocabulary, and can help students to identify areas where they may need additional practice.
However, it is important to use AI language models appropriately in educational settings. Teachers should ensure that students are still actively engaged in the learning process and are not simply relying on the model to do their work for them. AI language models should be used as a tool to supplement and enhance students' learning, rather than a replacement for traditional learning methods.
Additionally, it is important to consider the ethical implications of using AI language models in education. Teachers and educators should be transparent about how these models are being used and should ensure that students understand the limitations of the technology. It is also important to ensure that these models do not perpetuate biases or stereotypes, and that they are designed and trained in a way that is inclusive and representative of diverse perspectives.
In conclusion, AI language models can be a valuable tool in educational settings, but their use should be thoughtful, responsible, and transparent. Teachers should carefully consider how they are integrating these models into their teaching practices and should work to ensure that they are being used in a way that supports student learning and growth.
Will AI make us dumber or lead to widespread cheating?
Chat GPT's response...
AI itself does not have the ability to make us dumber or lead to widespread cheating. It is simply a tool that can be used to augment and enhance our abilities. However, like any tool, the way that it is used can have both positive and negative effects.
In terms of intelligence, AI has the potential to help us learn and understand complex concepts more quickly and efficiently, allowing us to focus on more creative and innovative tasks. However, if we become too reliant on AI to do tasks for us, we may become less skilled at doing those tasks ourselves, which could lead to a decrease in our overall intelligence in those areas.
As for cheating, AI can make it easier to cheat in some ways, such as by using automated tools to generate essays or research papers. However, AI can also be used to detect and prevent cheating, such as by analyzing patterns in student work or identifying similarities between different assignments. Ultimately, the ethical implications of using AI in education will depend on how it is used and regulated.
In conclusion, AI is a powerful tool that can have both positive and negative effects depending on how it is used. It is up to us as individuals and as a society to ensure that we are using AI in a responsible and ethical way that enhances our intelligence and supports our learning, rather than making us reliant on technology or leading to widespread cheating.
How can we use AI to promote critical thinking and writing skills?
Chat GPT's response...
AI can be used to promote critical thinking and writing skills by providing students with tools and resources that support and enhance their learning. Here are a few examples:
1. Automated feedback: AI can provide students with instant feedback on their writing, helping them to identify areas where they can improve. For example, a writing assistant tool can analyze a student's writing and provide suggestions for improving grammar, sentence structure, and vocabulary. 2. Writing prompts: AI can generate writing prompts that challenge students to think critically and creatively. For example, a writing prompt generator can provide students with a series of prompts that encourage them to explore different perspectives on a topic or to engage with complex issues in a meaningful way. 3. Research tools: AI can help students to conduct research more efficiently and effectively. For example, a research assistant tool can analyze large amounts of data and provide students with insights and recommendations for further investigation. 4. Plagiarism detection: AI can help to prevent plagiarism by analyzing student work and identifying instances of copied text. This can encourage students to think critically and engage with the material in their own words, rather than simply copying and pasting from other sources. 5. Essay scoring: AI can help to evaluate and score student essays in a way that is fair and objective. For example, an essay grading tool can analyze the quality of a student's writing based on factors such as clarity, coherence, and argumentation.
I asked these same questions two days in a row and the answers were not identical but very similar. On the second day, this question was answered with two different examples in addition to the first three above, which were worded slightly differently. Here they are along with the summary statement:
1. Developing personalized learning plans: AI-powered tutoring systems can create personalized learning plans based on student strengths and weaknesses. This can help students focus on areas where they need the most support and improve their critical thinking skills. 2. Encouraging collaboration: AI-powered collaboration tools can facilitate group discussions and brainstorming sessions, encouraging students to think critically and creatively as they work together to solve problems or complete assignments.
It is important to note that AI should not be seen as a replacement for critical thinking and writing skills, but rather as a tool to support and enhance them. Teachers should still encourage students to think critically and independently, while using AI tools to supplement and complement their learning. Additionally, it is important to use AI tools responsibly and ethically, with an awareness of their potential limitations and biases.
AI can be a powerful research tool
I also asked ChatGPT to provide their references for the answers they provided.
Each time the response began with…
"As an AI language model, my responses are generated based on my pre-existing knowledge and training, which includes a wide range of sources such as academic papers, textbooks, and online resources. In this particular response, I drew on my knowledge of the potential applications of AI in education, as well as information from sources such as:"
"What is a language model?" by OpenAI: https://openai.com/blog/what-is-a-language-model/
"AI and Education: Current Applications and Future Prospects" by Su White, et al., published in the Journal of Education for Teaching: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02607476.2021.1950375
"The Impact of Artificial Intelligence in Education" by Lucrezia Liuzzi, published in the European Journal of Contemporary Education: https://ejournals.epublishing.ekt.gr/index.php/education/article/view/24039
"A Critical Review of AI Applications in Education: Opportunities and Challenges" by Ali Saeedi, et al., published in the Journal of Educational Technology & Society: https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/26975488.pdf?refreqid=excelsior%3A99e14c4f4e9d9df3ea3d8f754b74de47
"Artificial Intelligence and Education: Opportunities and Challenges" by Rafael Alonso Alonso and Rebeca Cerezo Menéndez, published in the Journal of New Approaches in Educational Research: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/344041670_Artificial_Intelligence_and_Education_Opportunities_and_Challenges
"Artificial Intelligence in Education: Current Applications and Future Prospects" by Jie Chi Yang, et al., published in Frontiers in Education: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/feduc.2021.646091/full
"5 ways AI can improve critical thinking in higher education" by Carrie O'Connell, published on eCampus News: https://www.ecampusnews.com/2021/06/21/5-ways-ai-can-improve-critical-thinking-in-higher-education/
Closing thoughts on using AI...
Wow! ChatGPT produces content that is thorough and well-structured. It made writing this blog much more efficient than if I had written it on my own. However, I find the writing that is produced is not particularly creative and is quite wordy. It is not my voice.
In the future, I can see using AI language models as a starting point or as a tool for overcoming writing blocks.
For more on this important topic: Are you smarter than a 5th grader? Use AI to explain complex concepts.
This blog post's closing quote was written by ChatGPT in response to the prompt to write a rap for why schools are banning it…
“ChatGPT’s just a tool,
But it ain’t no substitute for school.
You can’t cheat your way to the top,
Using a machine to do your homework, you’ll flop.
Plagiarism’s a no-no,
And ChatGPT’s text is not your own, yo.
So put in the work, earn that grade,
Don’t try to cheat, it’s not worth the trade.”
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