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New ChatGPT aims for better learning in universities

New ChatGPT aims for better learning in universities


Haya Ajan sat eagerly at her computer on Monday and joked that she was on the edge of her seat as OpenAI announced the latest version of ChatGPT.

“I immediately thought this was going to change personalized learning,” said Ajan, associate dean of the Love School of Business at Elon University in North Carolina.

The latest version of ChatGPT, GPT-4o (o stands for omni, meaning all), features more realistic voices and faster verbal response times, both of which aim to sound more human-like. . This version is expected to be available to free ChatGPT users in the coming weeks, and the changes, which were also welcomed by educators, will allow people to interrupt during conversations and simulate more emotions with their voices. Now you can translate languages ​​in real time. It can also understand text and image instructions, and has improved video capabilities.

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Since ChatGPT was announced in November 2022, the new version has further fueled a tsunami of interest in generative artificial intelligence. Over the past two years, some institutions in higher education have shunned AI, others have embraced it, and the majority have begun to cautiously improve it.

Ajan said he immediately thought the new audio and video capabilities could allow GPT to serve as a personal tutor. Personalized learning is gaining traction for educators grappling with a looming enrollment cliff and striving for student success.

Ajan says its application in education is truly profound. She gave the example of solving a math problem where GPT can walk students through the steps of solving an equation.

To accompany its announcement, OpenAI released a video showing an example of just that.

Ajan said the technology could help move up the learning curve, explaining Bloom's two-sigma problem, the theory that students who receive tutoring will outperform students in a standard classroom environment. This problem has been resolved, which is a breakthrough.

Balance concerns and benefits

As with everything at the intersection of AI and education, the latest advances were received with caution.

Despite advances in GPT-4o, it's important to remember that GenAI tools should be used to enhance, not replace, traditional learning experiences, says Boston Education & Technology said Darren Parson, chief digital officer of the company Cengage Group. As the education community experiments with these tools, it is imperative that the safety and privacy of students and faculty are not jeopardized.

While praising recent advances in the potential for personalized learning and tutoring support, we also criticize these models as technology companies release them to capture data to improve their technology. Caution is important, Parson said, as early adoption can pose significant risks.

Risks aside, Gaper Begg, director of the Speech and Computation Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley, said the new technology could help supplement learning by digging deeper into specific concepts.

If you read a book and don't understand a passage, Begg said, you need to ask someone a question. Now, if you don't understand a subsection, [GPT] I can answer that. It's super strong. In the future, we will be able to offer highly individualized curricula.

According to Ajan, there is also the possibility of role-playing. He pointed to mock interviews that students can do in preparation for job interviews and, for example, he uses GPT to play the role of a buyer to help students prepare for economics courses.

AI that listens and speaks

GPT-4o joins a growing number of technology companies' products focused on oral communication. These include Google's Gemini Live, announced on Tuesday, which allows users to have real-time conversations with chatbots. OpenAI has been making inroads into voice responses for some time now, with ChatGPT's premium and enterprise models already offering five different voices.

Terumi Miyazoe, a senior associate professor at Tokyo University of Science, created a lesson design last fall using an earlier form of GPT's voice dialogue feature. She said it was comparable to her colleagues.

In a case study she conducted with five students using voice interaction, she found that students asked more difficult questions to the bot, but not to the professor. maybe.

Ajan agreed, saying the tool could also supplement questions asked during business hours.

What happens, she said, is that students will feel more comfortable asking questions they didn't want to ask in class, and they'll be able to immerse themselves more deeply in the larger themes I'm teaching.

Begu said the new ChatGPT voice sounds more human, which could lead to even more use of the tool compared to systems like Apple's Siri, which sounds robotic. However, he does not believe that talking AI will replace teachers.

You can ask ChatGPT anything you want to know, but you need inspiration to learn first, he said. I think that's what we go to humans for. We are looking for people who can draw inspiration from their research subjects and have human-like conversations.

Both he and Ajan said it's important to continue experimenting as well as continuing to evaluate the technology and its potential pitfalls.

While the technology will continue to improve with each version, Ajan says it's important to understand its limitations as you continue to experiment. we can't avoid it. Even faculty who say they don't know where to start or that it won't affect my field, I don't think that matters anymore. OpenAI opened the input field by removing the costs associated with it.

GPT-4o makes GPT-4 accessible to all users. The old GPT-3.5 served as the previous free model. The new version is faster and more subtle, with fewer false facts known as hallucinations. This could encourage more professors to use the technology, said Ethan Mollick, an associate professor and AI analyst at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

[The] The biggest practical implications of today's OpenAI announcement are very practical. The biggest barrier I see when I give talks about using AI is that people don't pay to get started with AI, they use GPT-3.5 (free model), and they don't know it. I mean, I'm disappointed. The GPT-4 model is 10 times better than his, he said in his LinkedIn post. Now everyone in the world can get his GPT-4 for free. This also has major implications for education and other applications where equity of access to top-of-the-line models is always a concern.




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