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HomeViews From The CottageViews From The Cottage by Melanie Martyn

Views From The Cottage by Melanie Martyn

Views From The Cottage by Melanie Martyn

‘IS IT LIVE?…OR IS IT MEMOREX?’

Learning to read was the most life-changing experience for me, as a child. It was like being given a golden key. This key would open up a world of adventures with stories of faraway kingdoms where the Princess tossed and turned the night away having had the ill-fortune to find a small pea under her mattress. The mystical world of Narnia kept me turning the pages of The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe, well into the night at nine years old. Every Tuesday I’d hop in the car with my parents to visit the Rexdale Library on Kipling Avenue. I’d immerse myself in the children’s fiction section for at least an hour before I made my selection of the 3 books that would have to last me the week. The smell of the new and aged books still lingers in my memory.

I think of the hours I spent there as a teen, trying to find the information that would specifically meet the criteria I needed to complete my science paper or God forbid, that speech I had to memorize. We were all thankful to Melvil Dewey who in 1876, developed the Dewey Decimal System for subject classification and showed you exactly where you could lay your hands on that book or encyclopedia. You would still have to thumb through hundreds of  pages and ultimately sticky note anything you thought pertinent to achieve that ‘A’ mark.

Lately we’ve been hearing a lot about artificial intelligence (AI) and more specifically, about this ChatGPT application. This is short for Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer, a chatbot that was released last Fall. (I always thought artificial intelligence was a good description for my ex but I digress….) I’ve played with the chatbot briefly and I think I may never have to write another original line of prose again! Hmmm….

Can we compare a ‘human author’ to an AI author and what about the ethical ramifications of having students use AI to complete their school essays, science papers and the like. That is the question…

In the age of digital transformation, there is much to be said of the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to revolutionize how we create and consume content. As AI-powered tools become increasingly sophisticated, they are now being used to produce content that is indistinguishable from that created by humans. AI-generated essays, for example, can be tailored to fit specific topics and even mimic the writing style of a particular author.

While these AI-generated essays can be a convenient way for students to complete their school assignments, there are some ethical implications to consider. For example, when students use AI to complete essays, they are not actually doing the work themselves. This can lead to decreased comprehension of the material and a decrease in the overall quality of the work. Additionally, using AI to complete essays may make it easier for students to plagiarize without being caught. Additionally, AI-generated essays can also lead to a decrease in creativity. While AI-generated essays may be able to mimic the style of a particular chosen author, they lack the unique perspective and creative insight that comes with a human author. AI-generated essays may be able to provide a basic outline for an essay, but they cannot capture the nuances and complexities of the human experience that a human author can.

Did you hear that? Was it live, or was it Memorex? The preceding answer was brought to you by none other than our new friendly app, ChatGPT and it took about 3 seconds to fill my screen. I’m sure this is ‘progress’, but there is a valid concern here for abuse. It is important to weigh the ethical implications of AI if it is used as a tool for the education of our youth and for anyone, for that matter.

I did like the note, though, about the human experience! Maybe I will be able to write again! If I can just beat the 3 seconds….

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