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An Artificial Intelligence Chatbot Tells Us What's Next for Training, Education, and Research

If you've been following social media over the past week, you may have heard about the launch of ChatGPT, a new artificial intelligence (AI) conversational chatbot developed by OpenAI. It has stirred up quite a bit of buzz in a very short time. Learning professionals, educators, researchers, software engineers, authors, and many others have been impressed with its writing ability, proficiency at complex tasks, and ease of use. 

I decided to have a conversation with the AI chatbot ChatGPT to discuss how it will affect education and training in our society. Here’s our conversation. 

NOTE: This article was generated by the ChatGPT bot using the prompts at the top of each section in just a few minutes. 

What is OpenAI's "ChatGPT" and how could it benefit education, training, and research?

ChatGPT is a large, powerful language model developed by OpenAI. It is designed to generate human-like text based on the input it receives. It has the ability to generate realistic responses to a wide range of topics, making it useful for tasks like conversation simulations and automated customer service.

  • In terms of education, ChatGPT could potentially be used to create engaging, interactive learning experiences for students. For example, it could create virtual tutors or generate personalized feedback on student assignments.
  • In the corporate training space, ChatGPT could create realistic simulations of workplace scenarios, allowing employees to practice and improve their skills in a safe, controlled environment. It could generate personalized feedback and suggestions for improvement, helping employees develop and grow in their roles.
  • In terms of research, ChatGPT could be used to generate large amounts of data for use in natural language processing and other AI-related studies. It could generate realistic responses to research questions, allowing researchers to quickly and easily gather data for their studies.

How could this technology affect traditional search? 

As for traditional search engines like Google, ChatGPT could be used to improve the quality and relevance of search results. For example, it could generate detailed, accurate answers to complex search queries, making it easier for users to find information.

How can I leverage it for self-directed learning, researching new topics, and performing my daily job as a programmer?

There are a few potential ways you could use ChatGPT for self-directed learning and research. One way would be to use it as a conversation partner, asking questions about the topic you're studying and receiving detailed, accurate answers in return. It could help you quickly and easily gather information on a wide range of topics, allowing you to learn at your own pace.

Another way to use ChatGPT in your self-directed learning and research would be to generate summaries or outlines of complex topics. This could help you to quickly and easily grasp the main points of a subject, allowing you to focus your study on the most important information.

In terms of your daily job as a programmer, ChatGPT could potentially be used to generate code or to provide suggestions and feedback on the code you're writing. For example, it generates boilerplate code for programming tasks saving you time and effort. It suggests improvements to your code, helping you to write more efficient, effective programs.

Example: Draft me a recursive function to count files in a folder using Java. 

Here is a simple example of a recursive function to count the number of files in a folder using Java:

Screen Shot 2022-12-09 at 9.15.42 AM

This function takes a File object representing a folder and returns the number of files contained within that folder and its subfolders. 

How can I use it to help draft documents, and why isn't its use considered plagiarism?

You can use ChatGPT to help draft documents by providing some initial input, such as a few sentences or bullet points outlining the main points you want to cover. ChatGPT will then generate text based on that input, allowing you to quickly and easily generate large amounts of text on a wide range of topics.

It's important to note that while ChatGPT can generate human-like text, it is not capable of original thought or creativity. The text it generates should not be considered the original work of the person using it. Instead, it should be treated as a starting point for further development and refinement.

In terms of plagiarism, the use of ChatGPT would not generally be considered plagiarism as long as the text generated by the model is properly attributed and not presented as the user's original work. However, it's always a good idea to double-check with your instructor or supervisor to ensure a tool like ChatGPT is appropriate and allowed in your particular situation.

What are other limitations of the technology and what are the plans for its future use?

As with any technology, ChatGPT has a number of limitations that users should be aware of. The text it generates may not always be grammatically correct or coherent, so it may require further editing and refinement by a human. Another limitation of ChatGPT is that it is a large, complex system, so it can be resource-intensive to use. It may be difficult to use on devices with limited processing power, such as smartphones or tablets.

In terms of the future, it's likely that OpenAI will continue to develop and improve ChatGPT by incorporating new features and capabilities as they become available such as improved performance, increased speed, and expanded language support. Additionally, OpenAI may explore new applications for ChatGPT, such as using it to generate audio or other forms of media.

What does the future hold in education for ChatGPT and other AI technologies?

One possibility is that AI-powered tools like ChatGPT will become increasingly common in the classroom, providing students with personalized, interactive learning experiences that are tailored to their individual needs and abilities. This could include things like virtual tutors, personalized feedback and suggestions, and interactive simulations of real-world scenarios.

Another possibility is that AI technologies will be used to automate and streamline many of the administrative and logistical tasks currently performed by teachers and educators. This could include things like grading assignments, tracking student progress, and providing customized recommendations for further study.

Overall, the use of AI technologies in education has the potential to greatly enhance the learning experience for students, providing them with access to a wealth of information and resources that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to access. As such, it's likely that we will see continued growth and development in this area in the coming years.

How could children use it as a virtual assistant to explore new subjects?

Children could use chatGPT as a virtual assistant to explore new subjects in a number of ways. For example, chatGPT could be used to provide personalized feedback and guidance to children as they learn about new subjects, such as science, math, history, or geography. This could help children to understand difficult concepts and learn new skills more quickly and effectively.

Additionally, chatGPT could be used to create interactive learning games and activities that engage children and make learning more fun and engaging. For example, chatGPT could be used to create virtual flashcard games, quiz games, and other interactive learning tools that can help children to retain information and improve their performance on tests and exams. Children could also use chatGPT to ask questions and explore new topics on their own, using the tool's natural language processing capabilities to provide accurate and relevant answers to their questions.

How do you get started using ChatGPT and where can I find some good examples?

To get started using ChatGPT, you will first need to visit OpenAI and sign up for an account. Once you have an account, you can access the ChatGPT API and start using it to generate text.

There are a few different ways to use the ChatGPT API, depending on your specific needs and goals. For example, you can use it to generate text based on a prompt or to continue a conversation by providing it with some initial input.

To help you get started, the OpenAI website provides several examples and tutorials that demonstrate how to use the ChatGPT API in various settings. These examples can provide a good starting point for understanding how the API works and how you can use it in your projects. Additionally, the OpenAI community forums are a great place to ask questions and learn more about using ChatGPT and other AI technologies.

Powered by OpenAI's GPT-3 model, created by the OpenAI team | Frequently Asked Questions

Bedtime Stories 2.0

After that experience, I had to try out the storytelling features. I read my kids their first personalized bedtime story (generated by an AI chatbot). JUST as they were laying down, I pulled some fresh story ideas from my daughter’s imagination (virtually guaranteeing total engagement):

"A unicorn named Jingle who lived in a beautiful village of fairies and other unicorns. She loves Christmas but something was wrong. There was no snow until Santa works his magic."

Their reactions were magical throughout the entire story - they were beyond delighted!!! It was unprecedented to have such adaptive, personalized performance support at the exact time of need! #ParentingWin


Write me a children's story about...[INSERT TOPIC(S) HERE]

ChatGPT Response:

Once upon a time, in a beautiful village full of fairies and unicorns, lived a unicorn named Jingle. Jingle loved Christmas more than anything else in the world, and she couldn't wait for the snow to start falling so she could play in it with her fairy friends….

How would you use this technology?

Instructional Design 3.0: Designing the Learner’s Journey - Part 5 - The Post Instruction Phase
Dr. Michael Allen Awarded Cornell College's Leadership and Service Award

About Author

Nik Hruska
Nik Hruska

Nikolaus Hruska is a learning professional, software engineer, and researcher with 20+ years of experience spanning standards development, emerging learning technologies, and software engineering. He is one of the founding partners of Problem Solutions, who joined the Allen Interactions team in 2020. Nikolaus is a former researcher at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). He has led Department of Defense (DoD) efforts on the future of the Training and Learning Architecture (TLA), which evolved from the SCORM learning standard. He worked as an engineer and researcher at the Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Initiative drafting specifications, developing prototypes, and speaking/blogging/hosting webinars on the Experience API (xAPI). He has stewarded projects to enable the xAPI specification development and contributed to community open-source software. Nikolaus has primary expertise in quality management, standards development, and software engineering, He currently serves as the Enterprise Quality Director at Allen Interactions.

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