I made a presentation on the implications of embracing ChatGPT in our daily life at e-MIG 2023 Conference organised by the Open University of Mauritius.
I spoke about Artificial Intelligence from the 50’s to our era, of the difference between narrow and general AI, on the AI strategy for Mauritius, on how to construct a neural network and how ChatGPT works. I spent some time exploring how AI can help students (and their teachers). Finally, I told the audience that we need well-rounded people, not only comfortable with science but also having soft-skills and an artistic sensibility.
For me, ChatGPT is just a tool. While it might seem to do things which a human being cannot do, this is not strictly true. But it is clear that tools such as ChatGPT are capable of (1) learning from a large corpus of knowledge and (2) answering questions very quickly. With such tools and with the right corpus of knowledge (hint: think everything about all the facts which are taught in primary, secondary and tertiary level), it is possible to envision a formidable digital assistant for students and teachers alike. Teachers will not have to explain the same things over and over again to students and will be able to concentrate on imparting experience and (useful) anecdotes. I would have loved that at the time I was a student…
I then participated in a panel chaired by Dr Perienen Appavoo (from the Open University) and the other panelists were Dr Upasana Singh (from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban) and Vrigesh Futta (from the Mauritius Emerging Technologies Council). The audience asked wonderful questions which we tried to answer in the best way possible. Of course, some were concerned about the use of ChatGPT by some students to cheat but the consensus was that it is more useful to focus on the half-full glass instead of the half-empty glass. Can ChatGPT actually allow teacher to create a new cohort of empowered students, better equipped to tackle the complexity of our world?
Time will tell.
Personally, I greatly enjoyed my time at e-MIG 2023 Conference. Thank you everyone.