• Doug Most

    Associate Vice President, Executive Editor, Editorial Department Twitter Profile

    Doug Most is a lifelong journalist and author whose career has spanned newspapers and magazines up and down the East Coast, with stops in Washington, D.C., South Carolina, New Jersey, and Boston. He was named Journalist of the Year while at The Record in Bergen County, N.J., for his coverage of a tragic story about two teens charged with killing their newborn. After a stint at Boston Magazine, he worked for more than a decade at the Boston Globe in various roles, including magazine editor and deputy managing editor/special projects. His 2014 nonfiction book, The Race Underground, tells the story of the birth of subways in America and was made into a PBS/American Experience documentary. He has a BA in political communication from George Washington University. Profile

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There are 2 comments on AI Task Force Report Recommends Critical Embrace of Technology and Cautious Use of AI-Detector Apps

  1. Both the task force report and this article sound like they could have been written two years ago! (i.e. before Chat GPT came into the mainstream.) So much has happened recently and there is a tremendous amount that has been learned and articulated through technical and professional societies. Our discussion has to be ongoing and informed by “latest developments”.

    Generative AI has many applications to mundane tasks in software engineering, as well as mathematics. In cutting edge applications, the key challenge seems to be turning its “hallucinations” into actual learning experiences. (Terrence Tao seems to be leading the way here.)

    Some people once thought that hallucinogenic drugs could give insights into creativity and the consequences were certainly unenlightening- We now can do wild experiments and actually learn from them (without the drugs, but with careful reflection- what a gift!)

    Let’s just keep this stuff away from lawyers, politicians, pundits, administrators, and users of social media. This baby needs a proper education, and universities should try articulate to the world the value of educating this baby. (Cynics, are you perking up?)

  2. As a student (and TA), I am worried by the growing reliance on ChatGPT and GenAI among my peers. I will start off by saying that I think far more students use GenAI than educators are predicting. And, from what I have gathered, most students do not feel at risk of being caught to any degree. The only scenario where I have seen restraint on ChatGPT use is in a class where the professor — who is on the AI task force himself, is very well informed on GenAI. However, he allows and encourages constructive uses of GenAI, which I think may also help reduce unethical use of AI among students.

    What I have noticed is that in many cases, professors choose to outright ban ChatGPT, and often talk about their lack of knowledge about it. This, to students, seems to serve as a green light to use the tool however they want. The consensus among students is that it is very easy to not get caught.

    As the task force suggests, professors are free to use their discretion on how to approach GenAI in their classes. While I think this policy is ok, I believe that it needs to be paired with AI literacy training for (all?) professors and students. For professors, I think this will help them design assignments where ChatGPT can be abused so easily, and also assignments where ChatGPT can be used as a valuable tool. In many cases today, classes have assignments where students seem to be using ChatGPT for the entire thing and not for any constructive purpose. For students, I think that AI literacy training will give them the knowledge on how to use ChatGPT genuinely to learn. As a TA in a programming class, I see that there is great potential for this. Many times students are stuck and come to me when they have questions, and truthfully ChatGPT is usually capable of answering those questions correctly and provides a detailed explanation. However, it is important that you know how to ask it the right questions, and that is not as easy as it sounds. I foresee GenAI tutors serving as 24/7 “office hours” not too far into the future. I also noticed that sometimes when students do try to use ChatGPT, they rely on it too heavily and ask it too much at once, and are unsuccessful in both getting correct work and understanding the content.

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