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Limited use of artificial intelligence on the rise in California college classrooms

By ONME Newswire

A growing number of college professors in California are choosing to encourage the limited use of artificial intelligence in classroom assignments, CalMatters reported.


One was Diablo Valley Community College adjunct professor Frako Loden, who created an assignment to see how students in her American Cinema class interacted with ChatGPT, according to CalMatters.


For their final opinion piece of the semester, they were to pick a discussion question about the 1950s movie “A Place in the Sun,” insert it into ChatGPT as a prompt, and then grade the response themselves. But the AI got key details of the plot wrong in some cases, Loden said.


Loden’s assignment illustrates not only the limitations of ChatGPT — Loden said she found in her own research that many details of movie plots it gives are not only false, but “ideologically loaded” and “maybe even racist” — but how professors are increasingly experimenting with its use in the classroom.


California’s public higher education systems have not yet created a formal policy regarding the use of generative AI, which can create images and text that are nearly indistinguishable from those made by humans. That leaves professors in the role of watchdog, preventing breaches of academic integrity.


“Faculty have to come to a decision, whether it’s in California or nationwide. And the decision is, do you want to adopt?” Tony Kashani, a professor of education at Antioch University who is writing a book about the use of AI in the classroom, told CalMatters. “On campus, there’s a lot of contention about this.”

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