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AI in Education Bi-weekly Digest - Issue #17



Welcome to our latest #17 newsletter. Happy Winter Solstice and Merry Christmas. Discover AI's 2023 breakthroughs and 2024's potential at the GenAI Conference. Navigate AI's dual role in education with Hong Kong's cautious integration and Stanford's insights on academic integrity. Engage with AI's ethical use advocacy by New Jersey teens, and stay ahead with Google's innovative AI tools and UBCx's educational courses. Witness AI's transformative power in healthcare, education, and employment as forecasted by visionaries like Bill Gates.


Upcoming Events:

[GenAI Conference] - The well-received Generative AI Insights will returns on 10th JAN 2024. The theme of GAIN 2024 is to transcend abstract concepts to tangible impacts through a series of research-based and practical sharing from the forefront educators. Don't miss this meaningful annual conference to meet AI practitioners in higher education by clicking here.


News, Articles & Blogs:

The 3 Most Important AI Innovations of 2023 - In 2023, AI saw significant advancements with multimodality, allowing systems like OpenAI's GPT-4 to process diverse data types, including images and audio. Constitutional AI emerged to align AI with human values effectively, while text-to-video technology advanced rapidly, exemplified by startups like Runway and Pika AI, enhancing creative possibilities and potentially transforming user-generated content. These innovations mark steps towards artificial general intelligence and raise questions about AI governance and its impact on jobs.


AI Was the Buzzword of 2023. What Happends in 2024? - In 2023, AI was a major focus for investors, with significant mentions in S&P 500 companies' earnings calls. Nvidia saw a 235% stock increase due to its AI-related activities. Looking ahead to 2024, Goldman Sachs CIO Marco Argenti forecasts a shift to 'hybrid AI,' blending large foundational models with specialized, fine-tuned ones for better efficiency and data privacy. Financial services could see substantial benefits from this approach, with a stronger emphasis on AI safety and governance.


Hong Kong Teachers Must Be Cautious over Integrating AI into Classrooms But Tools Can Transform Learning, Education Chief Says - Hong Kong's Education Secretary, Christine Choi, urges caution among teachers integrating AI into classrooms, recognizing its potential to personalize learning but warning of risks such as plagiarism and reduced critical thinking. Speaking at the Principals’ Forum, Choi discussed AI's impact on education, emphasizing the need for professional judgment. Panelists highlighted the importance of AI ethics and adaptability, noting that soft skills remain crucial in an evolving technological landscape. The event brought together educational and tech leaders to explore AI's educational applications.

Chatbot Hype or Harm? Teens Push to Broaden AI Literacy - Students at River Dell High School in New Jersey are advocating for a more nuanced A.I. education, challenging the prevalent narratives of either technological utopia or apocalypse. They've conducted a school-wide survey revealing a desire for guidelines on using A.I. tools ethically and education on potential biases within A.I. systems. The school is considering initiatives like an "A.I. Lab" to explore practical applications and encourage critical engagement with A.I. technology among students.


What Do AI Chatbots Really Mean for Students And Cheating? - Stanford researchers, Victor Lee and Denise Pope, report no significant rise in student cheating since the introduction of AI chatbots like ChatGPT. Their research indicates that cheating behaviors have remained stable at 60-70% or declined slightly, even with AI technology considerations. Students generally cheat due to systemic issues rather than technology access, and many believe AI should be used responsibly for learning assistance rather than complete task execution. The study advocates for AI literacy and ethical usage discussions in education.


AI Consciousness: Scientists Say We Urgently Need Answers - A coalition of consciousness scientists has urged for more research into AI consciousness, citing ethical, legal, and safety concerns. They highlight the urgent need for scientific methods to assess machine consciousness, especially as advancements in AI, such as artificial general intelligence, progress rapidly. The Association for Mathematical Consciousness Science (AMCS) has expressed these concerns to the UN, advocating for funding to explore the potential risks and societal implications of conscious AI systems.


I tried X's 'anti-woke' Grok AI chatbot. The results were the opposite of what I expected – Lance Whitney from ZDNet tested the 'anti-woke' Grok AI chatbot by X, expecting it to reflect owner Elon Musk's non-politically correct stance. Despite its billing, Grok responded respectfully and progressively to sensitive topics, including gender identity and political issues. The bot affirmed that a trans woman is a woman and emphasized respect for preferred pronouns. It also debunked election fraud claims and, when pressed, preferred Biden over Trump for a hypothetical 2024 election.


University Faculty Discuss Roles of Professors and Higher Education in the Age of Artrificial Intelligence – Faculty at the University of New Haven discussed the evolving roles of professors and the impact of AI on higher education, considering the challenges and opportunities it presents. They debated AI's role as a tool versus a replacement for educators, emphasizing the irreplaceable value of human interaction and hands-on learning experiences. A think tank was proposed to explore AI's educational impact, with a focus on enhancing experiential learning and maintaining the university's mission and community-focused approach.


OPINION: Why Artificial Intelligence Holds Great Promise for Improving Student Outcomes - AI is poised to significantly improve educational outcomes, especially at diverse and resource-limited institutions. President Biden's executive order reflects the urgent need to harness AI in education. AI can offer personalized support, overcoming barriers of time, space, and resources, thus democratizing higher education. However, challenges remain, including cost, access, and biases within AI systems. The Complete College America Council on Equitable AI aims to ensure AI benefits all students equitably, fostering higher education as a catalyst for equity and opportunity.


What Does Your Future Students' AI Use Look Like? ACT Finds a Forecast - ACT research indicates that 46% of surveyed students have used AI tools, with ChatGPT being the most popular. AI usage correlates with higher academic achievement, with more frequent use among top-scoring students. Lower-scoring students often cite access barriers. Despite the prevalence of AI, many students and teachers express skepticism about its reliability, with some advocating for its ban in schools. There's a call for equitable AI access and guidelines for appropriate use to prevent a widening digital divide.


Bill Gates Think AI Will Radically Transform Jobs Healthcare, And Education. These Are His Predictions for the Year Ahead – Bill Gates anticipates AI will revolutionize sectors like jobs, healthcare, and education. In a detailed blog post, he notes that AI is set to enhance innovation significantly. Gates used AI for the first time for serious work in 2023, and believes that while some countries are close to significant AI adoption, others may lag. In healthcare, AI is being explored to solve complex medical issues, and in education, it's developing personalized learning tools. Gates is optimistic about AI's role in driving technological advancements this decade.


Tools/Resources:

Disclaimer: AI in Education has no affiliation with any highlighted free or commercial products in this section.

LABS.GOOGLE - Google has revamped Labs.Google with 12 AI experiments designed to innovate search, creativity, and productivity. The update, devoid of a December 2023 expiration, includes the Google Search Generative Experience for efficient information gathering and TextFX for AI-assisted writing. Google Bard and NotebookLM are integrated with Google services to enhance research and creative processes. Other tools include Duet AI for Google Workspace, AI experiments on YouTube, and music composition AI, aiming to transform workflows and marketing strategies.


UBCx: AI for Teachers - The "AI for Teachers" course by UBCx on edX is a self-paced, introductory program focusing on preparing educators for the AI-augmented future. Over three weeks, with 1–2 hours of study per week, participants learn to develop algorithms, understand machine learning, explore AI's impact on society, and apply their knowledge to create app ideas. The course uses browser-based activities and is open to all, with an optional certificate available upon completion.


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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the linked posts are those of the speakers and or their entities and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of the project AI in Education, Centre for Learning Enhancement And Research, and The Chinese University of Hong Kong.


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