Introducing Copilot+ PCs — from blogs.microsoft.com

[On May 20th], at a special event on our new Microsoft campus, we introduced the world to a new category of Windows PCs designed for AI, Copilot+ PCs.

Copilot+ PCs are the fastest, most intelligent Windows PCs ever built. With powerful new silicon capable of an incredible 40+ TOPS (trillion operations per second), all–day battery life and access to the most advanced AI models, Copilot+ PCs will enable you to do things you can’t on any other PC. Easily find and remember what you have seen in your PC with Recall, generate and refine AI images in near real-time directly on the device using Cocreator, and bridge language barriers with Live Captions, translating audio from 40+ languages into English.

From DSC:
As a first off-the-hip look, Recall could be fraught with possible security/privacy-related issues. But what do I know? The Neuron states “Microsoft assures that everything Recall sees remains private.” Ok…


From The Rundown AI concerning the above announcements:

The details:

  • A new system enables Copilot+ PCs to run AI workloads up to 20x faster and 100x more efficiently than traditional PCs.
    Windows 11 has been rearchitected specifically for AI, integrating the Copilot assistant directly into the OS.
  • New AI experiences include a new feature called Recall, which allows users to search for anything they’ve seen on their screen with natural language.
  • Copilot’s new screen-sharing feature allows AI to watch, hear, and understand what a user is doing on their computer and answer questions in real-time.
  • Copilot+ PCs will start at $999, and ship with OpenAI’s latest GPT-4o models.

Why it matters: Tony Stark’s all-powerful JARVIS AI assistant is getting closer to reality every day. Once Copilot, ChatGPT, Project Astra, or anyone else can not only respond but start executing tasks autonomously, things will start getting really exciting — and likely initiate a whole new era of tech work.


 

AI’s New Conversation Skills Eyed for Education — from insidehighered.com by Lauren Coffey
The latest ChatGPT’s more human-like verbal communication has professors pondering personalized learning, on-demand tutoring and more classroom applications.

ChatGPT’s newest version, GPT-4o ( the “o” standing for “omni,” meaning “all”), has a more realistic voice and quicker verbal response time, both aiming to sound more human. The version, which should be available to free ChatGPT users in coming weeks—a change also hailed by educators—allows people to interrupt it while it speaks, simulates more emotions with its voice and translates languages in real time. It also can understand instructions in text and images and has improved video capabilities.

Ajjan said she immediately thought the new vocal and video capabilities could allow GPT to serve as a personalized tutor. Personalized learning has been a focus for educators grappling with the looming enrollment cliff and for those pushing for student success.

There’s also the potential for role playing, according to Ajjan. She pointed to mock interviews students could do to prepare for job interviews, or, for example, using GPT to play the role of a buyer to help prepare students in an economics course.

 

 

Hello GPT-4o — from openai.com
We’re announcing GPT-4o, our new flagship model that can reason across audio, vision, and text in real time.

GPT-4o (“o” for “omni”) is a step towards much more natural human-computer interaction—it accepts as input any combination of text, audio, image, and video and generates any combination of text, audio, and image outputs. It can respond to audio inputs in as little as 232 milliseconds, with an average of 320 milliseconds, which is similar to human response time in a conversation. It matches GPT-4 Turbo performance on text in English and code, with significant improvement on text in non-English languages, while also being much faster and 50% cheaper in the API. GPT-4o is especially better at vision and audio understanding compared to existing models.

Example topics covered here:

  • Two GPT-4os interacting and singing
  • Languages/translation
  • Personalized math tutor
  • Meeting AI
  • Harmonizing and creating music
  • Providing inflection, emotions, and a human-like voice
  • Understanding what the camera is looking at and integrating it into the AI’s responses
  • Providing customer service

With GPT-4o, we trained a single new model end-to-end across text, vision, and audio, meaning that all inputs and outputs are processed by the same neural network. Because GPT-4o is our first model combining all of these modalities, we are still just scratching the surface of exploring what the model can do and its limitations.





From DSC:
I like the assistive tech angle here:





 

 

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2024 EDUCAUSE Horizon Report® Teaching and Learning Edition

Trends
As a first activity, we asked the Horizon panelists to provide input on the macro trends they believe are going to shape the future of postsecondary teaching and learning and to provide observable evidence for those trends. To ensure an expansive view of the larger trends serving as context for institutions of higher education, panelists provided input across five trend categories: social, technological, economic, environmental, and political. Given the widespread impacts of emerging AI technologies on higher education, we are also including in this year’s report a list of “honorary trends” focused on AI. After several rounds of voting, the panelists selected the following trends as the most important:

 

ChatGPT remembers who you are — from thebrainyacts.beehiiv.com |Brainyacts #191

OpenAI rolls out Memory feature for ChatGPT
OpenAI has introduced a cool update for ChatGPT (rolling out to paid and free users – but not in the EU or Korea), enabling the AI to remember user-specific details across sessions. This memory feature enhances personalization and efficiency, making your interactions with ChatGPT more relevant and engaging.

.

Key Features

  1. Automatic Memory Tracking
    • ChatGPT now automatically records information from your interactions such as preferences, interests, and plans. This allows the AI to refine its responses over time, making each conversation increasingly tailored to you.
  2. Enhanced Personalization
    • The more you interact with ChatGPT, the better it understands your needs and adapts its responses accordingly. This personalization improves the relevance and efficiency of your interactions, whether you’re asking for daily tasks or discussing complex topics.
  3. Memory Management Options
    • You have full control over this feature. You can view what information is stored, toggle the memory on or off, and delete specific data or all memory entries, ensuring your privacy and preferences are respected.




From DSC:
The ability of AI-based applications to remember things about us will have major and positive ramifications for us when we think about learning-related applications of AI.


 

Shares of two big online education stocks tank more than 10% as students use ChatGPT — from cnbc.com by Michelle Fox; via Robert Gibson on LinkedIn

The rapid rise of artificial intelligence appears to be taking a toll on the shares of online education companies Chegg and Coursera.

Both stocks sank by more than 10% on Tuesday after issuing disappointing guidance in part because of students using AI tools such as ChatGPT from OpenAI.



Synthetic Video & AI Professors — from drphilippahardman.substack.com by Dr. Philippa Hardman
Are we witnessing the emergence of a new, post-AI model of async online learning?

TLDR: by effectively tailoring the learning experience to the learner’s comprehension levels and preferred learning modes, AI can enhance the overall learning experience, leading to increased “stickiness” and higher rates of performance in assessments.

TLDR: AI enables us to scale responsive, personalised “always on” feedback and support in a way that might help to solve one of the most wicked problems of online async learning – isolation and, as a result, disengagement.

In the last year we have also seen the rise of an unprecedented number of “always on” AI tutors, built to provide coaching and feedback how and when learners need it.

Perhaps the most well-known example is Khan Academy’s Khanmigo and its GPT sidekick Tutor Me. We’re also seeing similar tools emerge in K12 and Higher Ed where AI is being used to extend the support and feedback provided for students beyond the physical classroom.


Our Guidance on School AI Guidance document has been updated — from stefanbauschard.substack.com by Stefan Bauschard

We’ve updated the free 72-page document we wrote to help schools design their own AI guidance policies.

There are a few key updates.

  1. Inclusion of Oklahoma and significant updates from North Carolina and Washington.
  2. More specifics on implementation — thanks NC and WA!
  3. A bit more on instructional redesign. Thanks to NC for getting this party started!

Creating a Culture Around AI: Thoughts and Decision-Making — from er.educause.edu by Courtney Plotts and Lorna Gonzalez

Given the potential ramifications of artificial intelligence (AI) diffusion on matters of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility, now is the time for higher education institutions to adopt culturally aware, analytical decision-making processes, policies, and practices around AI tools selection and use.

 

Beyond the Hype: Taking a 50 Year Lens to the Impact of AI on Learning — from nafez.substack.com by Nafez Dakkak and Chris Dede
How do we make sure LLMs are not “digital duct tape”?

[Per Chris Dede] We often think of the product of teaching as the outcome (e.g. an essay, a drawing, etc.). The essence of education, in my view, lies not in the products or outcomes of learning but in the journey itself. The artifact is just a symbol that you’ve taken the journey.

The process of learning — the exploration, challenges, and personal growth that occur along the way — is where the real value lies. For instance, the act of writing an essay is valuable not merely for the final product but for the intellectual journey it represents. It forces you to improve and organize your thinking on a subject.

This distinction becomes important with the rise of generative AI, because it uniquely allows us to produce these artifacts without taking the journey.

As I’ve argued previously, I am worried that all this hype around LLMs renders them a “type of digital duct-tape to hold together an obsolete industrial-era educational system”. 


Speaking of AI in our learning ecosystems, also see:


On Building a AI Policy for Teaching & Learning — from by Lance Eaton
How students drove the development of a policy for students and faculty

Well, last month, the policy was finally approved by our Faculty Curriculum Committee and we can finally share the final version: AI Usage Policy. College Unbound also created (all-human, no AI used) a press release with the policy and some of the details.

To ensure you see this:

  • Usage Guidelines for AI Generative Tools at College Unbound
    These guidelines were created and reviewed by College Unbound students in Spring 2023 with the support of Lance Eaton, Director of Faculty Development & Innovation.  The students include S. Fast, K. Linder-Bey, Veronica Machado, Erica Maddox, Suleima L., Lora Roy.

ChatGPT hallucinates fake but plausible scientific citations at a staggering rate, study finds — from psypost.org by Eric W. Dolan

A recent study has found that scientific citations generated by ChatGPT often do not correspond to real academic work. The study, published in the Canadian Psychological Association’s Mind Pad, found that “false citation rates” across various psychology subfields ranged from 6% to 60%. Surprisingly, these fabricated citations feature elements such as legitimate researchers’ names and properly formatted digital object identifiers (DOIs), which could easily mislead both students and researchers.

MacDonald found that a total of 32.3% of the 300 citations generated by ChatGPT were hallucinated. Despite being fabricated, these hallucinated citations were constructed with elements that appeared legitimate — such as real authors who are recognized in their respective fields, properly formatted DOIs, and references to legitimate peer-reviewed journals.

 

AI RESOURCES AND TEACHING (Kent State University) — from aiadvisoryboards.wordpress.com

AI Resources and Teaching | Kent State University offers valuable resources for educators interested in incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) into their teaching practices. The university recognizes that the rapid emergence of AI tools presents both challenges and opportunities in higher education.

The AI Resources and Teaching page provides educators with information and guidance on various AI tools and their responsible use within and beyond the classroom. The page covers different areas of AI application, including language generation, visuals, videos, music, information extraction, quantitative analysis, and AI syllabus language examples.


A Cautionary AI Tale: Why IBM’s Dazzling Watson Supercomputer Made a Lousy Tutor — from the74million.org by Greg Toppo
With a new race underway to create the next teaching chatbot, IBM’s abandoned 5-year, $100M ed push offers lessons about AI’s promise and its limits.

For all its jaw-dropping power, Watson the computer overlord was a weak teacher. It couldn’t engage or motivate kids, inspire them to reach new heights or even keep them focused on the material — all qualities of the best mentors.

It’s a finding with some resonance to our current moment of AI-inspired doomscrolling about the future of humanity in a world of ascendant machines. “There are some things AI is actually very good for,” Nitta said, “but it’s not great as a replacement for humans.”

His five-year journey to essentially a dead-end could also prove instructive as ChatGPT and other programs like it fuel a renewed, multimillion-dollar experiment to, in essence, prove him wrong.

To be sure, AI can do sophisticated things such as generating quizzes from a class reading and editing student writing. But the idea that a machine or a chatbot can actually teach as a human can, he said, represents “a profound misunderstanding of what AI is actually capable of.” 

Nitta, who still holds deep respect for the Watson lab, admits, “We missed something important. At the heart of education, at the heart of any learning, is engagement. And that’s kind of the Holy Grail.”

From DSC:
This is why the vision that I’ve been tracking and working on has always said that HUMAN BEINGS will be necessary — they are key to realizing this vision. Along these lines, here’s a relevant quote:

Another crucial component of a new learning theory for the age of AI would be the cultivation of “blended intelligence.” This concept recognizes that the future of learning and work will involve the seamless integration of human and machine capabilities, and that learners must develop the skills and strategies needed to effectively collaborate with AI systems. Rather than viewing AI as a threat to human intelligence, a blended intelligence approach seeks to harness the complementary strengths of humans and machines, creating a symbiotic relationship that enhances the potential of both.

Per Alexander “Sasha” Sidorkin, Head of the National Institute on AI in Society at California State University Sacramento.

 

AWS, Educause partner on generative AI readiness tool — from edscoop.com by Skylar Rispens
Amazon Web Services and the nonprofit Educause announced a new tool designed to help higher education institutions gauge their readiness to adopt generative artificial intelligence.

Amazon Web Services and the nonprofit Educause on Monday announced they’ve teamed up to develop a tool that assesses how ready higher education institutions are to adopt generative artificial intelligence.

Through a series of curated questions about institutional strategy, governance, capacity and expertise, AWS and Educause claim their assessment can point to ways that operations can be improved before generative AI is adopted to support students and staff.

“Generative AI will transform how educators engage students inside and outside the classroom, with personalized education and accessible experiences that provide increased student support and drive better learning outcomes,” Kim Majerus, vice president of global education and U.S. state and local government at AWS, said in a press release. “This assessment is a practical tool to help colleges and universities prepare their institutions to maximize this technology and support students throughout their higher ed journey.”


Speaking of AI and our learning ecosystems, also see:

Gen Z Wants AI Skills And Businesses Want Workers Who Can Apply AI: Higher Education Can Help — from forbes.com by Bruce Dahlgren

At a moment when the value of higher education has come under increasing scrutiny, institutions around the world can be exactly what learners and employers both need. To meet the needs of a rapidly changing job market and equip learners with the technical and ethical direction needed to thrive, institutions should familiarize students with the use of AI and nurture the innately human skills needed to apply it ethically. Failing to do so can create enormous risk for higher education, business and society.

What is AI literacy?
To effectively utilize generative AI, learners will need to grasp the appropriate use cases for these tools, understand when their use presents significant downside risk, and learn to recognize abuse to separate fact from fiction. AI literacy is a deeply human capacity. The critical thinking and communication skills required are muscles that need repeated training to be developed and maintained.

 

The New Academic Arms Race | Competition over amenities is over. The next battleground is technology. — from chronicle.com by Jeffrey J. Selingo

Now, after the pandemic, with the value of the bachelor’s degree foremost in the minds of students and families, a new academic arms race is emerging. This one is centered around academic innovation. The winners will be those institutions that in the decade ahead better apply technology in teaching and learning and develop different approaches to credentialing.

Sure, technology is often seen as plumbing on campuses — as long as it works, we don’t worry about it. And rarely do prospective students on a tour ever ask about academic innovations like extended reality or microcredentials. Campus tours prefer to show off the bells and whistles of residential life within dorms and dining halls.

That’s too bad.

The problem is not a lack of learners, but rather a lack of alignment in what colleges offer to a generation of learners surrounded by Amazon, Netflix, and Instagram, where they can stream entertainment and music anytime, anywhere.

From DSC:
When I worked for Calvin (then College, now University) from 2007-2017, that’s exactly how technologies and the entire IT Department were viewed — as infrastructure providers. We were not viewed as being able to enhance the core business/offerings of the institution. We weren’t relevant in that area. In fact, the IT Department was shoved down in the basement of the library. Our Teaching & Learning Digital Studio was sidelined in a part of the library where few students went to. The Digitial Studio’s marketing efforts didn’t help much, as faculty members didn’t offer assignments that called for multimedia-based deliverables. It was a very tough and steep hill to climb.

Also the Presidents and Provosts over the last couple of decades (not currently though) didn’t think much of online-based learning, and the top administrators dissed the Internet’s ability to provide 24/7 worldwide conversations and learning. They missed the biggest thing to come along in education in 500 years (since the invention of the printing press). Our Teaching & Learning Group provided leadership by starting a Calvin Online pilot. We had 13-14 courses built and inquiries from Christian-based high schools were coming in for dual enrollment scenarios, but when it came time for the College to make a decision, it never happened. The topic/vote never made it to the floor of the Faculty Senate. The faculty and administration missed an enormous opportunity.

When Calvin College became Calvin University in 2019, they were forced to offer online-based classes. Had they supported our T&L Group’s efforts back in the early to mid-2010’s, they would have dove-tailed very nicely into offering more courses to working adults. They would have built up the internal expertise to offer these courses/programs. But the culture of the college put a stop to online-based learning at that time. They now regret that decision I’m sure (as they’ve had to outsource many things and they now offer numerous online-based courses and even entire programs — at a high cost most likely).

My how times have changed.


For another item re: higher education at the 30,000-foot level, see:


Lifelong Learning Models for a Changing Higher Ed Marketplace — from changinghighered.com by Dr. Drumm McNaughton and Amrit Ahluwalia
Exploring the transformation of higher education into lifelong learning hubs for workforce development, with innovative models and continuing education’s role.

Higher education is undergoing transformational change to redefine its role as a facilitator of lifelong learning and workforce development. In this 200th episode of Changing Higher Ed, host Dr. Drumm McNaughton and guest Amrit Ahluwalia, incoming Executive Director for Continuing Studies at Western University, explore innovative models positioning universities as sustainable hubs for socioeconomic mobility.

The Consumer-Driven Educational Landscape
Over 60% of today’s jobs will be redefined by 2025, driving demand for continuous upskilling and reskilling to meet evolving workforce needs. However, higher education’s traditional model of imparting specific knowledge through multi-year degrees is hugely misaligned with this reality.

Soaring education costs have fueled a consumer mindset shift, with learners demanding a clear return on investment directly aligned with their career goals. The expectation is to see immediate skills application and professional impact from their educational investments, not just long-term outcomes years after completion.


 

How Generative AI Owns Higher Education. Now What? — from forbes.co by Steve Andriole

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

What about course videos? Professors can create them (by lecturing into a camera for several hours hopefully in different clothes) from the readings, from their interpretations of the readings, from their own case experiences – from anything they like. But now professors can direct the creation of the videos by talking – actually describing – to a CustomGPTabout what they’d like the video to communicate with their or another image. Wait. What? They can make a video by talking to a CustomGPT and even select the image they want the “actor” to use? Yes. They can also add a British accent and insert some (GenAI-developed) jokes into the videos if they like. All this and much more is now possible. This means that a professor can specify how long the video should be, what sources should be consulted and describe the demeanor the professor wants the video to project.

From DSC:
Though I wasn’t crazy about the clickbait type of title here, I still thought that the article was solid and thought-provoking. It contained several good ideas for using AI.


Excerpt from a recent EdSurge Higher Ed newsletter:


There are darker metaphors though — ones that focus on the hazards for humanity of the tech. Some professors worry that AI bots are simply replacing hired essay-writers for many students, doing work for a student that they can then pass off as their own (and doing it for free).

From DSC:
Hmmm…the use of essay writers was around long before AI became mainstream within higher education. So we already had a serious problem where students didn’t see the why in what they were being asked to do. Some students still aren’t sold on the why of the work in the first place. The situation seems to involve ethics, yes, but it also seems to say that we haven’t sold students on the benefits of putting in the work. Students seem to be saying I don’t care about this stuff…I just need the degree so I can exit stage left.

My main point: The issue didn’t start with AI…it started long before that.

And somewhat relevant here, also see:

I Have Bigger Fish to Fry: Why K12 Education is Not Thinking About AI — from medium.com by Maurie Beasley, M.Ed. (Edited by Jim Beasley)

This financial stagnation is occurring as we face a multitude of escalating challenges. These challenges include but are in no way limited to, chronic absenteeism, widespread student mental health issues, critical staff shortages, rampant classroom behavior issues, a palpable sense of apathy for education in students, and even, I dare say, hatred towards education among parents and policymakers.

Our current focus is on keeping our heads above water, ensuring our students’ safety and mental well-being, and simply keeping our schools staffed and our doors open.


Meet Ed: Ed is an educational friend designed to help students reach their limitless potential. — from lausd.org (Los Angeles School District, the second largest in the U.S.)

What is Ed?
An easy-to-understand learning platform designed by Los Angeles Unified to increase student achievement. It offers personalized guidance and resources to students and families 24/7 in over 100 languages.

Ed is an easy-to-understand learning platform designed by Los Angeles Unified to increase student achievement.

Also relevant/see:

  • Los Angeles Unified Bets Big on ‘Ed,’ an AI Tool for Students — from by Lauraine Langreo
    The Los Angeles Unified School District has launched an AI-powered learning tool that will serve as a “personal assistant” to students and their parents.The tool, named “Ed,” can provide students from the nation’s second-largest district information about their grades, attendance, upcoming tests, and suggested resources to help them improve their academic skills on their own time, Superintendent Alberto Carvalho announced March 20. Students can also use the app to find social-emotional-learning resources, see what’s for lunch, and determine when their bus will arrive.

Could OpenAI’s Sora be a big deal for elementary school kids? — from futureofbeinghuman.com by Andrew Maynard
Despite all the challenges it comes with, AI-generated video could unleash the creativity of young children and provide insights into their inner worlds – if it’s developed and used responsibly

Like many others, I’m concerned about the challenges that come with hyper-realistic AI-generated video. From deep fakes and disinformation to blurring the lines between fact and fiction, generative AI video is calling into question what we can trust, and what we cannot.

And yet despite all the issues the technology is raising, it also holds quite incredible potential, including as a learning and development tool — as long as we develop and use it responsibly.

I was reminded of this a few days back while watching the latest videos from OpenAI created by their AI video engine Sora — including the one below generated from the prompt “an elephant made of leaves running in the jungle”

What struck me while watching this — perhaps more than any of the other videos OpenAI has been posting on its TikTok channel — is the potential Sora has for translating the incredibly creative but often hard to articulate ideas someone may have in their head, into something others can experience.


Can AI Aid the Early Education Workforce? — from edsurge.com by Emily Tate Sullivan
During a panel at SXSW EDU 2024, early education leaders discussed the potential of AI to support and empower the adults who help our nation’s youngest children.

While the vast majority of the conversations about AI in education have centered on K-12 and higher education, few have considered the potential of this innovation in early care and education settings.

At the conference, a panel of early education leaders gathered to do just that, in a session exploring the potential of AI to support and empower the adults who help our nation’s youngest children, titled, “ChatECE: How AI Could Aid the Early Educator Workforce.”

Hau shared that K-12 educators are using the technology to improve efficiency in a number of ways, including to draft individualized education programs (IEPs), create templates for communicating with parents and administrators, and in some cases, to support building lesson plans.


From EIEIO…Seasons Of Change

Again, we’ve never seen change happen as fast as it’s happening.


Enhancing World Language Instruction With AI Image Generators — from eduoptia.org by Rachel Paparone
By crafting an AI prompt in the target language to create an image, students can get immediate feedback on their communication skills.

Educators are, perhaps rightfully so, cautious about incorporating AI in their classrooms. With thoughtful implementation, however, AI image generators, with their ability to use any language, can provide powerful ways for students to engage with the target language and increase their proficiency.


AI in the Classroom: A Teacher’s Toolkit for Transformation — from esheninger.blogspot.com by Eric Sheninger

While AI offers numerous benefits, it’s crucial to remember that it is a tool to empower educators, not replace them. The human connection between teacher and student remains central to fostering creativity, critical thinking, and social-emotional development. The role of teachers will shift towards becoming facilitators, curators, and mentors who guide students through personalized learning journeys. By harnessing the power of AI, educators can create dynamic and effective classrooms that cater to each student’s individual needs. This paves the way for a more engaging and enriching learning experience that empowers students to thrive.


Teachers Are Using AI to Create New Worlds, Help Students with Homework, and Teach English — from themarkup.org by Ross Teixeira; via Matthew Tower
Around the world, these seven teachers are making AI work for them and their students

In this article, seven teachers across the world share their insights on AI tools for educators. You will hear a host of varied opinions and perspectives on everything from whether AI could hasten the decline of learning foreign languages to whether AI-generated lesson plans are an infringement on teachers’ rights. A common theme emerged from those we spoke with: just as the internet changed education, AI tools are here to stay, and it is prudent for teachers to adapt.


Teachers Desperately Need AI Training. How Many Are Getting It? — from edweek.org by Lauraine Langreo

Even though it’s been more than a year since ChatGPT made a big splash in the K-12 world, many teachers say they are still not receiving any training on using artificial intelligence tools in the classroom.

More than 7 in 10 teachers said they haven’t received any professional development on using AI in the classroom, according to a nationally representative EdWeek Research Center survey of 953 educators, including 553 teachers, conducted between Jan. 31 and March 4.

From DSC:
This article mentioned the following resource:

Artificial Intelligence Explorations for Educators — from iste.org


 

Which AI should I use? Superpowers and the State of Play — from by Ethan Mollick
And then there were three

For over a year, GPT-4 was the dominant AI model, clearly much smarter than any of the other LLM systems available. That situation has changed in the last month, there are now three GPT-4 class models, all powering their own chatbots: GPT-4 (accessible through ChatGPT Plus or Microsoft’s CoPilot), Anthropic’s Claude 3 Opus, and Google’s Gemini Advanced1.

Where we stand
We are in a brief period in the AI era where there are now multiple leading models, but none has yet definitively beaten the GPT-4 benchmark set over a year ago. While this may represent a plateau in AI abilities, I believe this is likely to change in the coming months as, at some point, models like GPT-5 and Gemini 2.0 will be released. In the meantime, you should be using a GPT-4 class model and using it often enough to learn what it does well. You can’t go wrong with any of them, pick a favorite and use it…

From DSC:
Here’s a powerful quote from Ethan:

In fact, in my new book I postulate that you haven’t really experienced AI until you have had three sleepless nights of existential anxiety, after which you can start to be productive again.


Using AI for Immersive Educational Experiences — from automatedteach.com by Graham Clay
Realistic video brings course content to life but requires AI literacy.

For us, I think the biggest promise of AI tools like Sora — that can create video with ease — is that they lower the cost of immersive educational experiences. This increases the availability of these experiences, expanding their reach to student populations who wouldn’t otherwise have them, whether due to time, distance, or expense.

Consider the profound impact on a history class, where students are transported to California during the gold rush through hyperrealistic video sequences. This vivifies the historical content and cultivates a deeper connection with the material.

In fact, OpenAI has already demonstrated the promise of this sort of use case, with a very simple prompt producing impressive results…


The Empathy Illusion: How AI Agents Could Manipulate Students — from marcwatkins.substack.com by Marc Watkins

Take this scenario. A student misses a class and, within twenty minutes, receives a series of texts and even a voicemail from a very concerned and empathic-sounding voice wanting to know what’s going on. Of course, the text is entirely generated, and the voice is synthetic as well, but the student likely doesn’t know this. To them, communication isn’t something as easy to miss or brush off as an email. It sounds like someone who cares is talking to them.

But let’s say that isn’t enough. By that evening, the student still hadn’t logged into their email or checked the LMS. The AI’s strategic reasoning is communicating with the predictive AI and analyzing the pattern of behavior against students who succeed or fail vs. students who are ill. The AI tracks the student’s movements on campus, monitors their social media usage, and deduces the student isn’t ill and is blowing off class.

The AI agent resumes communication with the student. But this time, the strategic AI adopts a different persona, not the kind and empathetic persona used for the initial contact, but a stern, matter-of-fact one. The student’s phone buzzes with alerts that talk about scholarships being lost, teachers being notified, etc. The AI anticipates the excuses the student will use and presents evidence tracking the student’s behavior to show they are not sick.


Not so much focused on learning ecosystems, but still worth mentioning:

The top 100 Gen AI Consumer Apps — from a16z.com / andreessen horowitz by Olivia Moore


 

 

GTC March 2024 Keynote with NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang


Also relevant/see:




 

This week in 5 numbers: Another faith-based college plans to close — from by Natalie Schwartz
We’re rounding up some of our top recent stories, from Notre Dame College’s planned closure to Valparaiso’s potential academic cuts.

BY THE NUMBERS

  • 1,444
    The number of students who were enrolled at Notre Dame College in fall 2022, down 37% from 2014. The Roman Catholic college recently said it would close after the spring term, citing declining enrollment, along with rising costs and significant debt.
  • 28
    The number of academic programs that Valparaiso University may eliminate. Eric Johnson, the Indiana institution’s provost, said it offers too many majors, minors and graduate degrees in relation to its enrollment.

A couple of other items re: higher education that caught my eye were:

Universities Expect to Use More Tech in Future Classrooms—but Don’t Know How — from insidehighered.com by Lauren Coffey

University administrators see the need to implement education technology in their classrooms but are at a loss regarding how to do so, according to a new report.

The College Innovation Network released its first CIN Administrator EdTech survey today, which revealed that more than half (53 percent) of the 214 administrators surveyed do not feel extremely confident in choosing effective ed-tech products for their institutions.

“While administrators are excited about offering new ed-tech tools, they are lacking knowledge and data to help them make informed decisions that benefit students and faculty,” Omid Fotuhi, director of learning and innovation at WGU Labs, which funds the network, said in a statement.

From DSC:
I always appreciated our cross-disciplinary team at Calvin (then College). As we looked at enhancing our learning spaces, we had input from the Teaching & Learning Group, IT, A/V, the academic side of the house, and facilities. It was definitely a team-based approach. (As I think about it, it would have been helpful to have more channels for student feedback as well.)


Per Jeff Selingo:

Optionality. In my keynote, I pointed out that the academic calendar and credit hour in higher ed are like “shelf space” on the old television schedule that has been upended by streaming. In much the same way, we need similar optionality to meet the challenges of higher ed right now: in how students access learning (in-person, hybrid, online) to credentials (certificates, degrees) to how those experiences stack together for lifelong learning.

Culture in institutions. The common thread throughout the conference was how the culture of institutions (both universities and governments) need to change so our structures and practices can evolve. Too many people in higher ed right now are employing a scarcity mindset and seeing every change as a zero-sum game. If you’re not happy about the present, as many attendees suggested you’re not going to be excited about the future.

 

Programs, Services, and More: A Map of CTL Tactics — from derekbruff.org

My colleagues and I at the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) have been reading and discussing Mary C. Wright’s new book Centers for Teaching and Learning: The New Landscape in Higher Education (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2023). Wright identified all the centers for teaching and learning (CTLs) in the United States and then did a content analysis of their websites to see what they were all about. For someone like me, who has spent his career working in CTLs, Wright’s work is a fascinating look at my own field and how it represents itself through mission statements, listings of programs and services, and annual reports.

Also from Derek, see:

Recap: Study skills, flipped learning, and more at spring STEM teaching lunches — from umcetl.substack.com
With the final spring STEM teaching lunch coming up on March 4th, here’s a recap of what you missed at the first two lunches.

    • February 8th – Helping students learn how to learn
    • February 20th – Reconsidering class time through flipped learning
 
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