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Susan O'Rourke | August 23, 2023

With the advances in ChatGBT, more educators have paid increasing attention to the possibilities for and limitations of AI in classrooms. We at UNC World View are curious about the impact of these new technologies on students’ global learning experiences and found the following resources useful in our exploration:

These two articles from NBC News and the BBC provide  an overview of key terms used in AI research and applications that may be of interest to K-12 and community college educators, such as:

  • Traditional and Generative AI: “Generative AI is an AI that can create things like text, images, sound and video. Traditional applications of AI largely classify content, while generative AI models create it. For instance, a voice recognition model can identify your voice, while a generative voice model can use your voice to create audiobooks.” 
  • Large Language Models (LLM) and ChatGBT: “An application of AI — usually generative — that aims to understand, engage and communicate with language in a human-like way.”
  • Multimodal AI: “A form of AI that can understand and work with multiple types of information, including text, image, speech and more. This is powerful because it allows AI to understand and express itself in multiple dimensions, giving both a broader and more nuanced understanding of tasks.”
  • Hallucinations: “Sometimes if you ask an AI like ChatGPT, Bard or Bing a question, it will respond with great confidence – but the facts it spits out will be false.”
  • Prompt engineering: “AIs now are impressively proficient at understanding natural language. However, getting the very best results from them requires the ability to write effective “prompts”: the text you type in matters.Some believe that “prompt engineering” may represent a new frontier for job skills, akin to when mastering Microsoft Excel made you more employable decades ago.”

A number of organizations, educators, and leaders have investigated how AI might be incorporated into schools while also studying possible risks stemming from the technology. 

In a recent article, the World Economic Forum discussed “How AI can accelerate students’ holistic development and make teaching more fulfilling.” The article highlights different possibilities for AI shared by educators from Colombia, Spain, Nigeria, and the U.S.:

  • Using AI to handle administrative tasks
  • Using AI to manage “lesson planning and differentiation, grading and providing quality feedback, teacher-parent communication, and professional development””
  • using AI to identify children’s literacy levels, uncover where students are struggling, and deepen personalized learning experiences”
  • Using ChatGBT as a ‘personalized 1:1 tutor that is super valuable for students’”

NBC news writers also noted the possibilities of AI to increase cross-cultural learning. They explain that, in one instance, multimodal AI has been used in “machine translation (MT) technology“ to create “fully automated manga translation from the original Japanese into English or Chinese.” This technology is particularly impactful because due to the precision of its translation since it is the “first to incorporate context information obtained from an image into manga translation. The framework extracts three context types that are useful for multimodal context-aware translation: scene, reading order, and visual information.” Thus, this technology opens up the possibility for more readers to access Japanese culture through this media. 

However, some have also cautioned against the risks that could come from AI and the need to protect children from harm. Educators and tech specialists, alike have expressed concerns that:

We will continue to learn more about AI on November 30, 2023 at the UNC World View Richardson Lecture with Prof. Arv Malhotra. There, Prof. Malhotra will speak on “Going ‘Back to the Future’ of Work in the AI Age.” Join us at the Friday Center in Chapel Hill for the lecture as we also celebrate UNC World View’s 25th Anniversary! Register for the free lecture here.

Additional Reading: