Changes in Artificial Intelligence Mean Changes in Our Classrooms

In August we shared some basic information about what generative artificial intelligence is and what it means for your classroom. Since then, TLP has hosted a series of fantastic workshops organized by joshuah whittinghill. 

Today I want to share some AI news with you that has and will change how we teach and learn again. 

First, ChatGPT premium users now have access to a plugin that can browse the internet. When we first started our campus discussion of AI this program was limited by training data that was frozen in time and a year out of date. This was not the case for some competing programs like Google Bard, but asking students about current events was a useful way to work around the most popular model. That is no longer the case. This new development exacerbates the financial equity gap since only paid users get access to this new more powerful version of the tool.

Second, later this month ChatGPT will roll out “vision” which integrates visual and text tools together. This is part of a next-generation set of “multi-modal” models where the inputs and outputs can be in a variety of forms. I was not sure about the impact this would have on education until a recent episode of the podcast/YouTube channel “AI Breakdown.” You will be amazed by an example from beta-version user Pietro Schirano where ChatGPT draws meaning from a series of images that look like they were lifted from a textbook. I have included the image at the end of this message.

I prefer Tuesday Tips that have straightforward and actionable steps. This one does not. The tip is to try and stay abreast of developments because the assignments we have used for years and even some of the workarounds we developed a few months ago are suddenly out of date. 

This winter we will be offering an AI retrofit one week intensive to help faculty figure out how their content fits in this new world and we are also developing a self-paced Canvas course to accomplish some of the same goals at scale. Be on the lookout for those announcements in the coming weeks. In the meantime, look at the image below, whether you are a regular user or have never touched an AI tool before, it is likely to change your perception.

a group of individuals comparing their perspectives to reach a consensus through communication

Zach Justus
Interim Director of Faculty Development
Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences
Google Voice/Text: 530-487-4150