Bye-Bye Google Search ~ OpenAI is My New Search Engine

Image generated at OpenAI

I had so many titles for this post from “ChatGPT, my New Best Friend for Lesson Planning”, to “ChatGPT OpenAI, How Can We Harness AI Power for Good?”, and ChatGPT, My New Search Engine for Learning About EVERYTHING”, to “ How to Create Better Brainstorming Sessions with ChatGPT”. The list goes on, because it is literally an endless bucket of knowledge. I have very few moments when I think, “This will change everything!” That is exactly what happened to me when I really started digging into this tool. I have done a previous post here about creating images using OpenAI. The image above of the tiger on a laptop was generated at OpenAI using Dall-E2. But this particular language-based AI, ChatGPT, is truly revolutionary. Students are already using this tool so it is critical that we get in that sandbox with them.

The next few posts will break down how you can harness this incredible new Artificial Intelligence for good, learning opportunities, curriculum support, and more. 

But first, what is Artificial Intelligence and who is making it? The GPT part of the name of this AI stands for Generative Pre-training Transformer. According to the ChatGPT openAI, website AI is this:

 “Artificial intelligence (AI) refers to the simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think and learn. The goal of AI research is to create technology that can perform tasks that would normally require human intelligence, such as understanding natural language, recognizing images, and making decisions. AI can be classified into two broad categories: weak AI, which is designed to perform specific tasks, and strong AI, which has the ability to perform any intellectual task that a human can. Examples of AI include self-driving cars, voice recognition systems, and personal assistants like Siri and Alexa.” (Jan 13, 2023)

So then I asked OpenAI if the ChatGPT tool is a weak AI or a strong AI and this is what it spit out:

“OpenAI is a research organization that specializes in developing and promoting friendly AI. They develop and use advanced machine learning techniques such as deep learning, to build models that can perform a wide range of tasks, such as natural language processing, computer vision, and robotics. These models are considered to be examples of “strong AI” because they can perform a wide range of tasks, and they have the potential to be general-purpose intelligent agents that can autonomously perform any intellectual task that a human can. OpenAI’s models are general-purpose and trained on a diverse range of tasks and can be fine-tuned for specific tasks, which makes them strong AI.”

Let’s start with the most obvious and easiest way to use this platform; a search engine. The ChatGPT spits out accurate and synthesized, up to date information as opposed to information driven by Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. I don’t think I will ever use a google search engine again. OpenAI is even polite in its information. It apologizes for not having the most up to date information. That just means that no one has updated its brain today on that particular content. You feel like you are having a conversation with an expert on any topic. The results still provides factual information helpful to bridging gaps in content for students and for you as the instructor. 

Think of a question that you or a student might be curious about related to what you teach and enter it into the chat to see what it spits out. You will be amazed. The better quality of questioning will ultimately drive the quality of the responses. You could do an entire lesson on good questioning practices with students. Like, what is an open-ended, unbiased questions? Or, create questions that are specific, relevant, and clear.

I love the ability to ask it questions, get thorough answers, and it even keeps a tab on the “conversations” you have had with the AI. I asked the question, “How can I inspire more teachers to use technology?”, thinking that this is probably just an opinion based question. It actually spit out 10 different solid methods for achieving this goal. And you know what? I agreed with the answers!

It is true that there are some slippery slopes with every new technology but just for a moment, imagine how this new open source technology an help you as an educator and a mentor to your students. OpenAI is here to stay and it is only going to become more commonplace in education. Let’s find creative and curious ways to use it instead of trying to block it or hide from it.

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