Discover more from Prof C
Rules for Using Generative AI & Oct Updates
Keeping up with Generative AI/ChatGPT
Rules for Using Generative AI/ChatGPT
Since ChaptGPT was released, I have been accumulating my own list of “rules” for using Generative AI/ChatGPT, especially in the classes I teach. Here is my current rule list:.
Never ask a Generative AI something you don't know the answer to. Remember Generative AI/ChatGPT it is a statistical model and not the same as a search engine or a trusted expert. You can't trust anything an AI writes or produces. Some pro tips: ask it for references. For example, use the "Double Check response" button on Bard. Also, try multiple systems (Bard, ChatGPT, Claude); if one system comes up with something unusual compared to the other two, that might indicate a hallucination.
Minimal prompts produce minimal results. Google search has us trained to make concise queries. Generative AI works best with longer prompts that provide context and details on the final product you want generated. Refine, refine, refine.
AI Detectors are worthless and should not be used. There are many ways to get around existing detectors, and in the long run, AI-generated text will be indistinguishable from human-generated text. Instead, teach your students how to use these new tools. For example, here is an exercise from Marc Watkins that encourages students to use lex.page as a writing tool to explore generative AI.
Use multiple systems, not just to identify outliers but also to explore different approaches and responses. It is fine to have a preferred AI for a week or a month, but things are changing fast and you have to be constantly re-evaluating which is the best tool for you.
Learn to reference how you are using Generative AI in your work. I require my students to provide an endnote on how they used the Gen AI, what Gen AIs they used, and the dates and versions, but I also require some information on the prompts the students used, how they refined the results, and the process they used (was it a brainstorming tool, used to simulate a reader, provided feedback, etc.). While the APA style guide for AI treats Generative AI/ChatGPT like a source, this is the wrong approach, as these systems can be used to do much more than produce a blob of text. And if you are using the first blob of text you get, you are not taking full advantage of these tools (see Minimal prompts produce minimal results) .
The version of the Generative AI/ChatGPT you are using today will only improve. These tools are not static, and a tool that doesn't work for you today may work brilliantly tomorrow.
What additions, deletions, etc do you have for my list? Comment below!
🎙️Generative AI for Newbies!
I'm hosting a new livestream series on YouTube that introduces generative AI to beginners (like me)! "Generative AI for Newbies" will air live most weekends this fall. On Oct 14th, at 9am CST I'll highlight Claude.ai, provide a brief overview of how it works, and then lead some exercises to see firsthand what it's capable of.
If you're new to generative AI and looking for an accessible, entertaining introduction to what it can do, I hope you join me for this new livestream series! It will be a lot of fun, and you'll learn a ton. Let me know if you have any questions! Subscribe on YouTube so you don't miss upcoming streams and so you can comment during the livestream. I am looking forward to exploring the world of AI with you!
🗣️Thats What You Said
Speaking of AI, in the last newsletter, I asked, “Is Generative AI/ChatGPT making you more productive? “ Here are the results!
I suspect that we would all be in the “Yes, by a lot” if we learned more about how to use these new tools (hence my “Gen AI for Newbies” series).
📥Recent Talks, News and Videos
I created some short YouTube videos that might interest you (these topics were not covered in this newsletter).
📆 Upcoming Talks/Classes 👨🏫
I will be giving a short presentation at Columbia Rotary South, about “Fun and Failure with ChatGPT and it's cousins” at 7am on Oct 13th. This group meets at the Country Club of Missouri (CCMO), 1300 Woodrail Ave, Columbia MO 65203. Let me know if you want to join and be my guest.
TEDxMissouriS&T hosts Solve for X on Thursday, October 26, 2023, at Leach Theatre in Rolla, MO, and I will be presenting “Calculating the Cost of the Sky”. A full list of speakers and links to purchase tickets can be found here.
If you need a program or talk for your organization or company, please let me know.