ChatGPT has been a trending topic in recent weeks.
Since it launched late in November, 2022, ChatGPT has generated more media buzz and attention than any other types of technological advancements in recent years. Online forums, social media postings and mainstream media publications, to name a few, are all filled with ChatGPT discussions.
People are experimenting with ChatGPT and sharing their experiences using it. I have seen many postings of what users can do with it. They use it to write a poem, praise a loved one, write school essays and even generate a set of computer coding.
Out of curiosity, I logged into my computer and created an account to access OpenIA where a free trial version of ChatGPT is housed.
My question: What is the history of the CSUSB Palm Desert Campus?
A few seconds after I typed in my question, the following essay appeared on my screen:
“The California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) Palm Desert Campus is a satellite campus of California State University, San Bernardino. It is located in Palm Desert, California and was established in the year 1996.
The campus was established to serve the residents of the Coachella Valley, providing access to higher education opportunities in the area. In its early years, the campus offered a limited selection of undergraduate and graduate programs, primarily in the fields of business, education, and nursing.
Over the years, the campus has expanded its offerings to include a wider range of academic programs, including liberal studies, psychology, and environmental studies. It now offers a variety of bachelor's and master's degrees, as well as certificate programs and community education courses.
The CSUSB Palm Desert Campus has a strong commitment to serving the local community, and has established partnerships with various organizations and businesses in the area to provide students with practical experience and training in their chosen fields.
The campus is equipped with modern facilities and technology, and offers a supportive learning environment for students. With its growing reputation and expanding programs, the CSUSB Palm Desert Campus continues to be an important resource for higher education in the Coachella Valley.”
The essay about the history of PDC is pretty good, right? On the surface, it is. It only technically made one mistake and used 1996 as the year PDC was established. In reality, it was 1986 when CSUSB began offering classes in the Coachella Valley. It seemed to have provided what most people need to know about the campus. It was well written in terms of the structure and language usage in only five paragraphs.
After a closer look, we can see there is no information about the efforts of local citizens,
philanthropic entities, and cities to establish the campus here; there is no current enrollment data, nor did it mention the recently approved $79 million state budget allocation to build the new Student Services Building on campus.
In addition, it did not capture our new program offerings such as social work, hospitality management, cybersecurity and a few others.
So, what is ChatGPT?
ChatGPT stands for “generative pre-training transformer” that is an artificial intelligence (AI) application, or an AI-powered chatbot developed by OpenAI. It uses AI technologies such as advanced natural language processing tools to generate text, summarize information and even create computer coding.
Many users on the Internet worry that ChatGPT will eliminate jobs and replace teachers. Bill Gates said that ChatGPT will change the world and make jobs more efficient. A Harvard Business Review article calls it a tipping point for artificial intelligence (AI).
By looking at the essay generated from ChatGPT based on my question about the history of PDC, I am not convinced that this AI tool will replace classroom teaching and school learning. Instructors will adapt as well.
For example, they could ask students to generate different essays on an assigned topic with questions from different viewpoints (input into ChatGTP) and provide analysis of generated essays (output from ChatGTP). Hence, critical thinking and learning.
I am always positive about technological innovations, especially how they can make our lives easier without diminishing our intelligence and compromising our values.