“I’m terrified,” first-year student Annalise Butler admits when asked about her thoughts on Artificial Intelligence [AI]. Ever since AI has slowly made more and more of an appearance in the media, our daily lives, and our technology, many students and faculty have a lot to say about these technical advancements. The main fear is, are we going to start to lose the ability to think for ourselves if we keep relying on technology like this?
According to Tech Target, Chat GPT is essentially a “chatbot that uses natural language processing to create humanlike conversational dialogue. The language model can respond to questions and compose various written content, including articles, social media posts, essays, code, and emails.” In other words, Chat GPT can write up whatever you ask it to do.
“The first time I heard about it was in my Biology class when my professor was saying that it is actually a useful tool to use, to come up with practice questions about the material,” Annalise explained. “I had never considered that before, I always considered it to be a tool that would help with cheating.”
Although artificial intelligence can be used as a “cheating” tool as Annalise mentioned, it can also be helpful when it comes to classes and studying for different material. When it comes to artificial intelligence, there is a significant duality to it, but it all depends on the way you want to use it.
Ever since February of 2022, for all of us Snapchat users, AI has made its way into all of our devices. According to Snapchat, “My AI” is a permanent chatbot that you can text and snap in the app. A new update that some students like Annalise, are not very fond of.
“I think that it is very creepy… I can’t get rid of it!” Annalise says.
The AI feature is something that cannot be removed unless you have “Snapchat Plus” which is $3.99 a month. The concept that this artificial intelligence robot is simply lurking in our social media apps, and there’s nothing we can do about it, is “terrifying” Annalise says.
However, James Kissel, another first-year student, suggests that students should actually use this artificial intelligence as a tool to help them.
“I completely do suggest that other students use My AI, however they have to use it for the right reasons in the right way,” Kissel said. “Don’t do it necessarily because you wanna be lazy and you don’t want to write the paper.”
Artificial Intelligence has also made its way to TikTok as well, and these specific AI filters can actually create completely AI-generated scenes, people, sets and images for a TikTok video. TikTok even explains how the “content may include depictions of real people that may be highly realistic or created in a particular artistic style.” However, it doesn’t mean these depictions are real. A new world is created with AI. New ideas, new places, and new people — all generated through artificial intelligence. Except it’s still important to be aware of the duality of this type of technology.
“I feel like people have a tendency to misuse it,” James explains. “If it gets into the wrong hands, AI can be very powerful. I feel like it can mimic humans, and who knows, one of these days it might be able to develop a sort of consciousness and that can be detrimental.”
James has a point. There’s still so much we don’t know about this “artificial” intelligence. How much does it know? How can we use it to our advantage, but also be careful and mindful while using it?
Luckily, Professor Loop, a professor in the Department of Journalism at Ithaca College, will be teaching “Journalism Ethics” in the incoming Spring semester, which will discuss how best to go about working with AI devices when it comes to writing.
“Any time there is a new innovation in how people communicate, we have to learn the best way to practice it,” Loop explains.
Whether or not you want to use AI or Chat GPT to write your essays and papers, or you’re creeped out by “My AI” in your Snapchat, there’s no denying that Artificial Intelligence is slowly creeping into all of our daily lives and is something to be aware of. AI is proof our world is getting increasingly more and more intelligent and the technology we live off of is somehow able to think for itself. It is simply up to us to determine the right ways to use it and when we should. Next time you come face to face with artificial intelligence on social media, or in your classroom, ask yourself how you feel about it! Is it futuristic… or frightening?
Autumn Valdes is a first-year journalism major who will be hiding from Siri and Alexa. They can be reached at [email protected]