Jennifer Jenson, ETEC 511
The ChatGPT assignment was designed for a Foundations of Educational Technology course to teach about artificial intelligence with an emphasis on understanding the hindrances and benefits of machine learning technologies in educational development. The assignment also emphasizes critical thinking, multimodal representations of knowledge, summative and concise writing, breadth of research, and the gathering and review of diverse perspectives, viewpoints, and literature.
In sentences, not point form, respond to the questions below. Do not exceed word limits. Use the APA format when citing sources and listing references. For this assignment, multimodality is encouraged. Remember to limit your quotations, and do not copy and paste without properly citing. Do not shy away from Wikipedia because it is a lot of content to cover, and you are only exploring and sketching out the area. A few links are provided but you may consult any resources. Use these 5 questions to organize your search, and keep a tight focus on AI, not on computing, economics, pedagogy, etc., except where you need to mention these aspects to provide context. Your task is not to answer all these questions in depth or detail, but rather to scope out a breadth of perspectives to engage with these questions. You will be doing plenty of skimming and composing of your responses to fit within the short-answer word constraints, so condensed and concise writing is key. This is not meant to be easy, and there are no right answers. Careful writing matters.
The 5 Questions
You are encouraged to make a simple chart for this assignment.
- First and in your OWN words. Who were these people, and how did/does each contribute to the development of artificial intelligence? How did/does each think “intelligence could be identified? (50 words each). Next, using the new AI ChatGPT, ask it the same question(s) and edit the responses down to 50 words. You can create a chart to show your work and ChatGPT side-by-side. Do the same with questions 2-4, and DO make sure in your answers you reference the readings.
- Alan Matheson Turing (1912-1954): Biography; Work: Computing Machinery and Intelligence (Turing, 1950).
- John McCarthy (1927-2011): Homepage, especially What is Artificial Intelligence? (McCarthy, 2007).
- Herb Simon (1916-2001): Meet the Nobel Laureates in Economics: Do we understand human behaviour (UBS, n.d.).
- Marvin Minsky (1927-2016): AI pioneer Marvin Minsky dies aged 88 (BBC News, 2016).
- Timnit Gebru (1982): We read the paper that forced Timnit Gebru out of Google. Here’s what it says (Hao, 2020).
- How do “machine (programming) languages” differ from human (natural) ones? (~100 words). For example, read Languages vs. Programming languages (Harris, 2018).
- How does “machine (artificial) intelligence” differ from the human version? (~100 words). For example, read the full article On the Measure of Intelligence or just the Abstract (Chollet, 2019).
- How does “machine learning” differ from human learning? (~100 words). For example, read Why algorithms can be racist and sexist. A computer can make a decision faster. That doesn’t make it fair (Heilweil, 2020) and Artificial Intelligence Has a Problem With Gender and Racial Bias. Here’s How to Solve It (Buolamwini, 2019).
- And for your LAST challenge, a version of the Turing Test: how do YOUR answers to these questions differ from what a machine could generate? (~200 words) Make sure you reference the differences between your answers and ChatGPT’s. For this last question, think about whether your responses only reported information derived from online searches. In your responses to these questions, what transformative kinds of thinking and/or reasoning processes have you engaged to formulate your answers, that exceed or differ from what artificial intelligence can do? Do you think there are ANY distinguishing features that would identify your responses as having been formulated by a human, and not a machine intelligence? What and why?
Upload your responses to these 5 questions to your personal website/blog and message your course instructor(s) with the URL. Please see Communication, Collaboration and Data Privacy for further details on assignment submission.
BBC News. (2016, January 26). AI pioneer Marvin Minsky dies aged 88.
Biography. (2020, July 22). Alan Turing.
Buolamwini, J. (2019, February 7). Artificial intelligence has a problem with gender and racial bias. Here’s how to solve it. Time.
Chollet, F. (2019, November 5). On the measure of intelligence.
Hao, K. (2020, December 4). We read the paper that forced Timnit Gebru out of Google. Here’s what it says. MIT Technology Review.
Harris, A. (2018, October 31). Languages vs. programming languages. Medium.
Heilweil, R. (2020, February 18). Why algorithms can be racist and sexist. A computer can make a decision faster. That doesn’t make it fair. Vox.
McCarthy (2007, November 12). What is Artificial Intelligence?
Turing, A. M. (1950). Computing, machinery and intelligence. Mind, 49(236), 433-460.
UBS. (n.d). Meet the Nobel Laureates in economics: Do we understand human behaviour.
The example ChatGPT assignment emphasizes the development of critical thinking, research, and revision skills and stresses the importance of discussion and the process of organizing content in traditional literacies and multiliteracies contexts. The assignment also presents how ChatGPT might serve as a writing coach to support students to understand the importance of the cyclical process of revision, editing, and writing. In this way, students can develop the skills to revise and edit throughout the research and writing process. The assignment also harnesses ChatGPT as a tool for teaching critical thinking and in particular how to differentiate between opinion and fact, how to gather multiple viewpoints, organize information, and write a cohesive assignment with a comprehensive argument that considers all perspectives.
Currently, ChatGPT is riddled with outdated and false misinformation, and although it will likely improve over time, assignments like these are important to teach students how to identify and navigate bias and misinformation online. Although a common concern about ChatGPT is the replacement of teachers, and a decrease in critical thinking, research, and writing skills, the ChatGPT assignment highlighted here requires teacher interaction, guidance, and intervention, and encourages and communicates the importance of learning how to use and navigate new technology tools that undoubtedly spark fear, but can serve as useful and beneficial teaching tools when thoughtfully and critically integrated.