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ChatGPT: Let's Not All Panic At Once: ChatGPT and Higher Education

Some faculty are encouraging critical interactions with AI in class

"To remain competitive throughout their careers, students need to learn how to prompt an AI writing tool to elicit worthwhile output and know how to evaluate its quality, accuracy and originality. They need to learn to compose well-organized, coherent essays involving a mix of AI-generated text and traditional writing. As professionals working into the 2060s and beyond, they will need to learn how to engage productively with AI systems, using them to both complement and enhance human creativity with the extraordinary power promised by mid-21st-century AI." ~John Villasenor is professor of law and electrical engineering at UCLA, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

"If we don’t educate our students on the potential dangers of AI, we may see harmful consequences in our classrooms and beyond. Meta’s Galactica language model was recently pulled from the internet after a disastrous demo where users generated false, racist and sexist research articles. We don’t want professionals like doctors and pharmacists using language models without understanding their limitations, and we definitely don’t want law enforcement or judges relying on biased AI in their decision-making. The potential for unintentional harm is too great to ignore." ~Marc Watkins, Lecturer in Composition and Rhetoric at the University of Mississippi

Interacting with ChatGPT as a human co-author

According to Sean Ross Meahan, quoted Inside Higher Ed, "In the many urgent discussions I have joined or observed in recent weeks about ChatGPT, I have been surprised to hear no mention of the fact that OpenAI has a Sharing & Publication Policy that not only could, but should, inform educational responses to the use of AI assistance in writing and learning. The policy is buried on the company’s main site (under its Terms and Policies), not referenced where users access ChatGPT. And yet, in its publication policy, OpenAI clearly articulates that all content generated through the use of ChatGPT and intended for publication as writing (they give as quaint examples “a book, compendium of short stories”) is to be understood and identified as “co-authored” by the user and the AI."


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