Call For Comments: AI and Academics or GPT and Grading

From Mav: So, this has come up from a couple people. Long-listeners know that we’ve done several shows on AI before. We’ve talked about its use art and its use in comedy and we’ve touched on its use in things like Hollywood script writing. As the Spring college semester is finishing up, I’ve seen any number of my instructor colleagues from across the world complaining about the increasing number of suspected ChatGPT or otherwise AI written papers. And, in fact, I’ve had more than one student where I have good reason to suspect they’ve utilized it to cheat on a paper. And that has been the big concern with people I know lately “how do we stop it!?!? You should do a show on how we stop it!”

Well, so the thing is, for starters I’m about 99.99999% sure that we CAN’T stop it. Resistance is futile and all that. But on top of that, I’m not even convince we should. In fact, I’m heavily leaning towards the argument that not only is resistance futile, we should embrace our new technological overlords. I’m siding with Skynet, Bitches!!!

So my job is weird. I’m not JUST an English professor. I’m specifically an English professor in the University of Pittsburgh’s Digital Narrative and Interactive Design program. Our whole thing is integrating computer science and literature & cultural studies together (see why I work there?). We literally have conversations about A.I. and (and other technology) improving it all the time, so it would be a little weird if were suddenly like “but use it for the real world. Not here!” So… that’s why I’m going with team Borg… so let me just turn things over to ChatGPT and let it write the blogs from now on:

From Mav: Ok… so maybe the robot uprising will be delayed for a bit. That’s not exactly the most interesting call for comments, but I guess it … tried? Even the Matrix wasn’t great at understand the nuance of human creativity. It needed humans for innovation and humanity. I will say that ChatGPT has taught me that perhaps I should be using more emojis in my writing. That’s something, right? If the computer says so, I guess I can try…

๐Ÿ˜ฎ Ok… so what are the things we’re worried about with AI in academia?
๐Ÿ† Academic Integrity?
๐Ÿ† Lack of creativity?
๐Ÿ† Plagiarism?

๐Ÿ‘ I just don’t think it’s that simple. In fact, I know it’s not that simple. A big thing I teach my students is to look at Marshall McLuhan’s work for analyzing that cultural effects an implications of A.I. I try to train them to think about how it can enhance their work not replace it.

๐Ÿ˜… But what do I know? I’m just one guy… albeit a guy who has very clearly learned flawless use of emojis in the past couple minutes.

๐Ÿชฆ But that’s the joy of this show. We’re gonna talk about it. Unfortunately, I can’t get Marshall McLuhan, on account of him being long dead and stuff (very inconsiderate!), so instead I invited my colleague Annette Vee who basically wrote the book on using AI for academic writing… like… literally. So like the chatbot said, what are your thoughts? Are you for AI? Are you against it? Are you scared? Are you some combination of the above? Why? Let us know and we’re going to break it all down.

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