March 2, 2024

Since ChatGPT’s launch one year ago, Ai has become increasingly accessible. According to a BestColleges survey, about 1 in 5 college students regularly use the site for schoolwork. 

Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, has decided to rival the popular ChatGPT by launching the first product of his Ai company xAI: an Ai bot named Grok. In an article for the Wall Street Journal, Jason Dean said that Grot “has a rebellious streak and was modeled after the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” The bot will show features of a personality, such as the ability to respond with witty and sarcastic remarks. 

Dr. Anthony Corso, professor of computer information systems, discussed some concerns dealing with the expansion of Ai. He noted that bias is always important to watch out for. 

“Bias is already a concern. That’s embedded in Google search engines now. If you just go to a Google page and just type some things in you’ll see the bias of this and that. That already exists,” Corso said. “One of the things we can do to mitigate that fear is we need to educate people that this is going on now. In my opinion, we are never going to get around bias in the data. A lot of data is put out by five news companies and the government. And that is biased data in and of itself.” 

Corso explained how AI holds the ability to be biased. 

“For OpenAi, it’s an algorithm and they feed it a bunch of data and they train it and that converts it into what we technically call the machine learning model. Those models can hold all the parameters of all the data they trained on. [Ai] can be biased in one of two places. It’s either in the data itself or it’s in the algorithm or what we call the machinery model that they train,” Corso said. 

Additionally, Corso said safety is a major concern in a number of areas. He specified, though, certain areas should be taken more seriously. 

“Just from personal data getting out there and potentially getting exposed, I think that’s minimal. I personally think that that already exists today and it’s no different from these. The part that would scare me that I think we should worry about is the analysis of the results of all of the personal data and how a particular group can be controlled by that data. Regulation is going to try to handle some of that,” Corso said. 

On Oct. 30, President Biden issued the first Ai executive order in the US – an order set to create Ai safeguards by ensuring transparency and additional testing periods, according to Cecilia Kang in an article for The New York Times. 

However, Corso pointed out that concerns are normal when it comes to new technologies and that there are plenty of advantages to using Ai. 

“When I went to college, I couldn’t use a calculator when I went to math class. That’s unheard of now. Yes, is it going to replace some jobs? Certainly. But so did the calculator. Ai is another tool, it’s another textbook. But I can’t read all those textbooks, but this thing can, so why don’t I leverage it as a tool?” Corso asked. “ The productivity gains that we could get from leveraging this are – we will have never seen it in the history of the world so far. That’s what could come from this. We’re going to have the biggest opportunities in history as a result of this. Certainly. We just need to think about how it is a tool and how we can utilize it in a class.”

Aylee Wages, junior graphic design major, has found Ai to be helpful.  

“I do use Ai including ChatGPT. Many of my professors encourage it and it’s highly beneficial in my field of study. I mainly use it to generate logo names and tagline ideas for my design projects and also as a convenient tool for fixing grammar and spelling mistakes,” Wages said. 

Wages, like Corso, thinks that users should educate themselves in order to truly maximize Ai’s usage. 

“I believe that Ai undoubtedly will have a significant role in our lives in the coming years. It’s important to know the capabilities of Ai and its impact on society to better understand and prepare ourselves for what the future will look like,” Wages said. “Ai, without question, will also impact the workforce and either replace or change a good amount of jobs but it will bring new opportunities and new jobs.” 

Isaiah Osotos, junior film production major, remains cautious. 

“I don’t use ChatGPT. I don’t learn anything if I use it because my writing skills aren’t up to par so using the technology doesn’t help me grow as a writer. It would act more as a crutch for me. Versus I use grammarly, which helps with the grammar aspect, but ChatGPT just completely takes over,” Osotos said. 

As Ai continues to grow, time will tell its impact on our society. 

“There are always good and bad. If Ai is properly managed, and certain people don’t go in there and use it for all of these ‘bads,’ the productivity gains are the greatest we’ve seen in history,” Corso said. 

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