Hello Everyone! I'm Alexis Pavenick, PhD, MLIS. I am an Associate Librarian for CSULB, and I currently cover Literatures and Languages. I have written this guide through interest and research about ChatGPT - I'm a little bit of a tech geek now that I am a librarian. I share with you here information my colleagues and I have found about the topic.
While I am by no means an expert in AI Chatbots, I do have 16+ years experience as an English adjunct lecturer for Cal Poly Pomona, Los Angeles City College, Glendale Community College in the LA Area and Bronx Community College, The Art Institute of New York City, and ASA College in New York City. I am quite familiar with assigning and grading long and short essays and dealing with plagiarism. My PhD is in English Literature from UC Riverside, so I am also familiar with writing essays in literature, as well as in social science, as I have a MPhil in Anthropology from Cambridge.
Please take my suggestions of ways to respond to concerns about ChatGPT and other chatbot usage as my own inspiration of approaches I might take in teaching and assigning tasks to assess writing and critical thinking skills.
The technology company Oracle defines a chatbot as follows, "At the most basic level, a chatbot is a computer program that simulates and processes human conversation (either written or spoken), allowing humans to interact with digital devices as if they were communicating with a real person. Chatbots can be as simple as rudimentary programs that answer a simple query with a single-line response, or as sophisticated as digital assistants that learn and evolve to deliver increasing levels of personalization as they gather and process information."
ChatGPT works in a similar fashion to all chatbots. It uses NLP and other algorithms to examine user inputs and respond with what its software engineers consider useful and apt responses. ChatGPT stands out for two main reasons: 1) The currently free access to using the bot and 2) Its billion-word corpus, which increases with each of the bot's iterations. The enormous scope of Internet data ChatGPT pulls from is part of its "large language model" programming. It is this scope that, in large part, gives ChatGPT's results such a natural tone and potential for accuracy.
Here are some common concerns educators have about ChatGPT and other LLM AI ChatBots:
An initiative of the MLA-CCCC Joint Task Force on AI and Writing
Here is an older summary of actions educators may take to engage with ChatGPT and/or mitigate concerns about it:
Above is a ChaptGPT Workshop given by the UCLA History Dept, suggesting methods to understand and manage cheating via ChatGPT use. It is short, just over 17mins, and gives some very good suggestions for best practices.
Along with the suggestions made by the History Professors at UCLA, consider the tried and true method of the composition educator:
The more in-person and/or real-time evidence you have of student work, the more it will inform your evaluation of their take-home assignments.
To learn more about how to use ChatGPT in your classroom, try searching the Internet with phrases like: "ChatGPT for educators"
To keep aware and updated about the developments of ChatGPT and other Artificial Intelligence technologies, consider subscribing to the Tech blogs of CNET, MIT News, Stanford's Machine Learning, and UC Berkeley's AI Blog and their AI Department.
For information about the dynamic changes in leadership at OpenAI and other tech industry topics, I suggest The New York Times podcast Hard Fork.
Below are some articles I have collected since OpenAI's Chat GPT was launched in November 2022.
Here is a Glossary of Terms related to Generative AI offered by a prompt writing company called AI Prompt Marketplace & Prompt Engineering Community.
A big thank you to Amelia, a student researcher, along with her mom, for suggesting this list, which they found while investigating the benefits and concerns of using AI technology.
They found ChatGPT's answer, "a better defender of the First Amendment rights of all than Moms For Liberty, No Left Turn in Education, Utah Parents United, and all of the other book banning groups."
For liberal-minded educators, this is good news.
The thing to consider about this, however, is that ChatGPT is a product. It and AiChatbots like it will eventually be available for sale, making their language and content slant customizable. Currently, OpenAi/Microsoft are controlling ChatGPT's answers in a liberally-minded way. This will change depending on the interests of the people using the tool. See The New York Times* March 22, 2023 article, "Conservatives Aim to Build a Chatbot of Their Own."
Once again, this "AI" is still controlled by humans. Please remember this as it moves forward in development.
State of the Art - Basic information about Chatbots as of 02.19.2024.
Please note that CSULB University Library has access to The New York Times and many other newspapers, journals, and periodicals. To find and access what we have, on the homepage of the Library, underneath the OneSearch box, select Advanced Search. Then, at the top black ribbon, select Journal Search. Enter the title of the periodical, e.g. The New York Times, and you will see whether we have the item and the length of the run we have access to. If we do not have what you are looking for, please use Interlibrary Loan to request it.