Publication date: October 25, 2023
ChatGPT and artificial intelligence
According to many descriptions, artificial intelligence (AI) is “the ability of machines to demonstrate human skills, the ability to spontaneously adapt to changing conditions, make complex decisions, learn, and undertake abstract reasoning.” However, this is not a completely precise description, because it is difficult to define something that has so many possibilities and applications and has such a wide range of uses. This is even more difficult because there is no single specific definition of the word “intelligence.”
Currently, some of the most interesting applications of artificial intelligence are:
– games in which artificial intelligence is the opponent of the player who plays “against the computer”, not other players;
– all types of home appliances connected to the WI-FI network, such as cleaning robots, refrigerators or air purifiers;
– autonomous cars that can move without a driver inside;
– online stores where “customer assistants” in the form of chat with artificial intelligence (so-called chat bots) are available.
ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence (AI) tool that allows any user to interact with a computer. It uses natural language processing technology, which enables communication with users in a way similar to a human conversation. ChatGPT is built on the GPT-3.5 architecture, which means it can process huge amounts of data. Based on the questions asked or the answers we provide, ChatGPT learns and is able to answer the question in even more detail and precision. Artificial intelligence systems are able to adapt their behavior to some extent by analyzing the effects of previous actions and acting autonomously.
Artificial intelligence in higher education
Do ChatGPT and artificial intelligence have any chance of appearing in the world of education?
Recently, UNESCO published a guide presenting the possibilities and methods of implementing AI in higher education. Focus will now be made on a few extremely important points from the guide provided that may help lecturers, teachers and university authorities introduce various artificial intelligence tools in their universities.
Artificial intelligence can be helpful in the teaching process. Artificial intelligence opens the door to diversifying classes, both in terms of the material covered by the teachers and the form of conducting classes. One can also use AI to analyze students’ behavior and preferences in order to adapt the content and materials provided to their abilities and individual needs. Equally useful could be help in grading tests, which in large university courses may have up to 150 copies. Artificial intelligence could use one key in which the correct answers would be encoded and thus check tests faster.
Communication with students
Another application of artificial intelligence could be its use for communication between university authorities and students. The previously mentioned chat bots have the ability to imitate human interaction, and thanks to artificial intelligence, they are able to imitate human behavior in such a way as to respond to their questions and needs in the most effective way possible. Another advantage of this application is that chat bots can do it in real time, which speeds up the time needed to resolve a specific matter. The student asks the bot a question, and it answers him in a moment. In such a situation, the student does not have to wait for a response from the university authorities.
Artificial intelligence may prove useful in university administration. Using the tools available to AI, it is possible to automate many administrative processes. In particular, this concerns data management. Artificial intelligence is able to operate on specific data entered into the system and, for example, catalog it in the manner indicated by an administration employee.
Also, assistance in planning both resources and, for example, student events, or arranging lesson plans can be entrusted to artificial intelligence, which will do it faster and take into account factors that a human preparing the plan might not notice, such as the transition time. around campus, from one point to another, to be on time for classes. AI can arrange classes to be best optimized for the student’s needs and selected subjects.
Threats related to the use of artificial intelligence
There are several clear risks associated with the introduction of artificial intelligence into the higher education sector, which may discourage some universities from using such solutions. The UNESCO Report comes to our aid, presenting possible threats and examples of their solutions. Let us focus on two of them.
Data privacy protection
If universities took advantage of artificial intelligence and introduced it into their administration, it would involve collecting, processing and accurate analysis of a huge amount of data for both students and teachers. Very important in such situations are legal regulations and specific mechanisms aimed at the most effective protection of data privacy, especially mechanisms based on the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).
No specific legal regulations
Currently, there are insufficient legal regulations regarding the use of artificial intelligence in higher education, one could even say that there are practically no such regulations.
First of all, it should be noted that artificial intelligence itself is not error-free and may make incorrect or unfair decisions. The lack of such regulations may cause difficulties in determining who is responsible for incorrect decisions made by artificial intelligence and who will suffer the consequences.
It is necessary for states and institutions related to higher education to introduce appropriate legal regulations. They should primarily take into account issues related to data privacy protection, responsibility for decisions made by AI, and take into account issues of proper, fair and ethical use of any artificial intelligence systems.
It is very important to introduce regulations so that they are adapted to the constantly changing situation and the possibilities of artificial intelligence. They should be flexible so that they can meet new challenges and threats over time.
These regulations should be developed in close cooperation between educational institutions, regulatory authorities and legal and technology experts.
In the previously mentioned report, UNESCO provides its recommendations regarding the use of artificial intelligence in higher education. Some important recommendations are:
Investing in research and development
UNESCO encourages investment in research related to the use of artificial intelligence in higher education. This research should focus on assessing effectiveness, the impact of AI-based learning on student outcomes, and finding best practices related to this technology.
Ensuring equal access
The importance of ensuring equal access to the benefits of artificial intelligence in higher education is extremely emphasized in the UNESCO report. Countries and higher education institutions should strive to eliminate inequalities related to access to technology, primarily by enabling all students to use artificial intelligence-based educational tools and materials introduced by university authorities.
International cooperation and knowledge exchange
UNESCO encourages international cooperation to exchange experiences and best practices related to the implementation of AI at universities. Working together and learning from each other’s successes and mistakes can speed up the process of implementing and improving systems based on this technology.
Ethical Considerations: Fostering Responsible Use
There needs to be applied aspect of privacy protection. The usage of ChatGPT in educational settings frequently entails the communication of private information, such as grades, student performance, and personal particulars. To maintain the confidentiality of the individuals who are involved, it is necessary to prevent unauthorized access to, use of, or disclosure of the information in question.