Digital tools in education: AI and ChatGPT

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Several higher education institutions are already actively using in various education processes some generative AI tools and ChatGPT. Increasingly implementing AI chatbots and other tools help to enhance the teaching and learning experiences. Some basic knowledge of AI and other machine-learning tools could serve as a viable supplement for inspiring the readers and others in the educational field. 

Background
= Artificial intelligence, AI is a concept that refers to a machine’s ability to perform some tasks that had not required previously human involvement (i.e. intelligence). The notion has been known since the 1950s, and its definition has been modified over decades of research and technological advancements.
The phrase AI comes from the idea that if intelligence is inherent to organic life, its existence elsewhere makes it artificial. Computer scientist Alan Turing was one of the first to explore the idea that machines could use information and logic to make decisions as people do; he suggested the so-called “Turing test”, which compared machine and human abilities to produce something that people would call “artificial intelligence”.
Basic computing systems function because programmers code them to do specific tasks; however, AI is only possible when computers can store information, including past commands, similar to how the human brain learns by storing skills and memories. This ability makes AI systems capable of adapting and performing new skills for tasks they weren’t explicitly programmed to do.
Some experts define intelligence as the ability to adapt, solve problems, plan, improvise in new situations and learn new things. Although these systems do not replace human intelligence or social interaction, present AI systems demonstrate some traits found in human intelligence, including learning, problem-solving, pattern-finding, perception and even a limited spectrum of creativity and social awareness.
= Machine learning, ML refers to the process of training a set of algorithms on large amounts of data to recognize patterns, which helps make predictions and decisions. This pattern-seeking facility enables systems to automate tasks they haven’t been explicitly programmed to do, which is the biggest differentiator of AI from other computer science topics: this capability is referred by many as AI, but ML is, actually, a subset of AI. When data is structured, or organized, a system can more easily detect an anomaly: for example, if a transaction on a credit card occurs from a part of the world that is not used in a client’s activity.
Artificial intelligence can be divided into three subcategories: narrow AI, general AI and super AI; thus, artificial general intelligence (general or strong) is still a hypothetical concept as it involves a machine understanding and autonomously performing vastly different tasks based on accumulated experience. This type of intelligence is more on the level of human intellect, as general AI systems would be able to reason and think more like people do. Like a human, general AI could potentially understand any intellectual task, think abstractly, learn from its experiences and use that knowledge to solve new problems.
Essentially, it is about a system or machine capable of common sense, which is currently unachievable with any available AI. Developing a system with consciousness is still a task for future research and a distant ultimate AI’s goal: e.g. OpenAI suggests that the forthcoming GPT-5 will get humans closer to “super AI”.
= ChatGPT is an AI chatbot capable of generating and translating natural language and answering questions. Though it’s arguably the most popular AI tool, thanks to its widespread accessibility, OpenAI made significant progress in artificial intelligence by creating GPTs 1, 2, and 3 before releasing ChatGPT. The GPT stands for Generative Pre-trained Transformer; hence, the GPT-3 was the largest language model when it was launched in 2020 with 175 billion parameters; the next version of GPT-3.5 could power the free tier of ChatGPT. The largest version, GPT-4, accessible through the free version of ChatGPT, ChatGPT Plus, and Microsoft Copilot, has one trillion parameters.
Google subsidiary DeepMind is an AI pioneer focusing on “supper inteeligence”: the company promised in 2016 to create AlphaGo, an AI system that could beat the world’s best (human) professional “Go-player”. Since then, DeepMind has created AlphaFold, a system that can predict the complex 3D shapes of proteins; it has also developed programs to diagnose eye diseases as effectively as top doctors.
Reference and citations from: https://www.zdnet.com/article/what-is-ai-heres-everything-you-need-to-know-about-artificial-intelligence/

EI tools in education
For example, special ChatGPT Edu program offers access to GPT-4o, which is OpenAI’s most advanced flagship model unveiled in the beginning of 2024. The GPT-4o excels in text interpretation, coding and mathematics, plus offers users other advanced capabilities such as data analytics, web browsing, summaries of documents, perspective visions, as well as in abilities to build and share GPTs within organisations. The educational version of the chatbot also includes perks not available in the free version of ChatGPT. The biggest selling point, however, is that it is more affordable than precious ChatGPTs.
The educational version of the chatbot also includes perks not available in the free version of ChatGPT, such as a significantly higher message limits and robust security, data privacy, and administrative controls, which would be especially needed in a university for settings like group permissions. The biggest selling point, however, is that it is more affordable than ChatGPT systems.
Reference to: https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=20240604092541488&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=GLNL0789

OpenAI shares that the impetus for developing this feature was seeing the success universities worldwide, such as the University of Oxford, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and Arizona State University, had when using ChatGPT Enterprise.
Source: https://www.zdnet.com/article/openais-new-chatgpt-edu-is-for-universities-heres-how-teachers-and-students-can-benefit/

Conclusion
It is a credible near-future possibility that artificially intelligent systems will replace a considerable chunk of modern labor. While commonplace AI won’t replace all jobs, it seems certain is that AI will change the nature of work; the only issue is the rapid of the process ability fundamentally digitalize the traditional workplace.
However, artificial intelligence can’t run independently. While many jobs with routine, repetitive data work might be automated, workers in other jobs can use tools like generative AI to become more productive and efficient.
There is a broad range of opinions among AI experts about how quickly artificially intelligent systems will surpass human capabilities.
As to the use of AI tools for education providers, the main issue and/or a problem is that of “converting the desired knowledge” into codes and algorithms, as well as consequently implement them in the existing educational infrastructures. Thus, it is generally, the issue of applying the already existing AI technologies to real-world and user-cases, and being capable of making the most the opportunities the AI can offer.
More in: https://www.zdnet.com/article/ai-for-business-whats-going-wrong-and-how-to-get-it-right/

 

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