OK, computer: Let's bring text-generating artificial intelligence into the classroom

phys.org | 7/26/2019 | Staff
hakimi308hakimi308 (Posted by) Level 4
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Artificial intelligence-based (AI) programs are quickly improving at writing convincingly on many topics, for virtually no cost. It's likely in a few years they'll be churning out C-grade worthy essays for students.

We could try to ban them, but this software is highly accessible. It would be a losing battle.

Writing - Ways - Analysis - Teachers - Mode

Long-form writing, especially essay writing, remains one of the best ways to teach critical analysis. Teachers rely on this mode of assessment to gauge students' understanding of a topic.

Thus, we need to find ways to help students of all disciplines thrive alongside advanced automation and smart systems, rather than resist them. This involves training students to work with AI tools, rather than banning them.


What are AI-powered text generators?

In February 2019, GPT-2, an AI-powered text generating system was released by OpenAI. Those interested can try the system themselves by following these instructions, or experiment with Talk to Transformer, an online tool made using GPT-2.

Idea - GPT-2 - Text - Function - Smartphone

The idea behind GPT-2 is similar to the predictive text function on a smartphone. A machine learning system was given 8 million web pages, and told to look at blocks of text to predict what word would come next.

The system compared its guess with the actual text to "learn". This was repeated billions of times, resulting in the GPT-2 software.

Minutes - GPT-2 - Texts

Often within minutes, GPT-2 can generate texts that look like they were written by a human. They're grammatically correct, thematically coherent, engaging and even informative.

I gave GPT-2 this prompt: "The global system of university ranking has recently…". Here are some sentences it generated: "The global system of university ranking has recently been the subject of heated debate, with many arguing that it is becoming increasingly irrelevant. In a report published in May, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found that the system has become increasingly irrelevant, with the gap...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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