ChatGPT and generative AI: What is it all about?

ChatGPT and generative AI (artificial intelligence): a quick primer … *Heaven, W.D. (2023). ChatGPT is everywhere. Here’s where it came from: OpenAI’s breakout hit was an overnight sensation—but it is built on decades of research. MIT Technology Review. “We’ve reached peak ChatGPT. Released at the end of November [2022] as a web app by the San Francisco–based firm OpenAI, the chatbot exploded into the mainstream…

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How ChatGPT robs students of motivation to write and think for themselves

Naomi S. Baron, American University (from The Conversation) When the company OpenAI launched its new artificial intelligence program, ChatGPT, in late 2022, educators began to worry. ChatGPT could generate text that seemed like a human wrote it. How could teachers detect whether students were using language generated by an AI chatbot to cheat on a writing assignment? As a linguist who studies the effects of…

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Meet the power plant of the future: Solar + battery hybrids are poised for explosive growth

Joachim Seel, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; Bentham Paulos, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Will Gorman, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (from The Conversation) America’s electric power system is undergoing radical change as it transitions from fossil fuels to renewable energy. While the first decade of the 2000s saw huge growth in natural gas generation, and the 2010s were the decade of wind and solar, early signs…

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Facial recognition technology: privacy and political orientation

There is growing concern that the widespread use of facial recognition technology has led and will lead to the decline of privacy and civil liberties. CCTV cameras and huge databases of facial images–taken from sources such as social media and ID card registers–make it easy to identify individuals as well as track their movements and social interactions. Plus, “facial recognition can be used without subjects’…

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Algorithms, part 2: impact on searching and finding academic information

Algorithms are literally everywhere in the digital environment. The databases, sources, and systems you use at a college or university or high school are not immune. They use algorithms as well. At a basic level, algorithms can help with searching, sorting, pattern matching, and more. An algorithm impacts how the search is done/interpreted and what records from a database are brought forward in response and…

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Algorithms: what are they? What can they do?

At its most basic, an algorithm is a procedure to solve a problem. A computer program can be a procedure to solve a problem expressed in a computer language. On many social media and digital commerce sites (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Netflix, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and on and on), algorithms control how users experience the sites–what they see, the options they are offered, who they communicate…

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