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BUSINESS TODAY 26 January 2023

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5.12.19 12 COMMERCIAL 26.1.2023 Alexiei Dingli Prof Alexiei Dingli is a Professor of AI at the University of Malta and has been conducting research and working in the field of AI for more than two decades, assisting different companies to implement AI solutions. He forms part of the Malta.AI task-force, set up by the Maltese government, aimed at making Malta one of the top AI countries in the world Embracing ChatGPT in education: a powerful tool for the modern classroom A s technology continues to evolve and advance, it is becoming in- creasingly important for educa- tors to embrace new tools and integrate them into the classroom. One such tool is ChatGPT, a large language model de- veloped by OpenAI, which is currently causing an earthquake in educational in- stitutions worldwide. While some educators may be hes- itant to use ChatGPT in their class- rooms, it is crucial to recognise the potential benefits and, rather than try to fight it, implement clear policies on its use. Because let's be honest, students will still use it with or without the teacher's consent, and in a few months, a new, more powerful tool will emerge, ren- dering all of these efforts futile. is is akin to the introduction of the calculator many years ago; at first, educators were hesitant, but today, it became common practice in every stu- dent's arsenal. Because of this, all educators must help instruct students on using the tool correctly and harnessing its full power because learning to use AI is an impor- tant skill. When using ChatGPT, it is essential to be aware of its limitations. Educa- tors must guide students on refining their query, which will take effort but ultimately produces better results. ey should not trust anything it says unless they verify it with authoritative sources. Students should shoulder re- sponsibility and be held accountable for any errors or omissions. When using AI for their work, they should include a paragraph at the end of any assignment explaining how they used it and the prompts they inputted to get the results. Failure to do so will violate academic honesty because they would be presenting work which is not theirs. ey also need to learn to be thought- ful about using the tool because it doesn't work in all contexts. Teachers, on the other hand, should see ChatGPT as a valuable aid. e fol- lowing is a list of ideas on how educa- tors can use it in class: • Grading work automatically based on specific parameters, such as grammar, vocabulary, or content. For example, given an initial brief, a teacher can ask ChatGPT to grade all student es- says on that topic. • Listing corrections in student work related to spelling, gram- mar, punctuation errors and much more. It can also give style suggestions and propose modifi- cations. • Generating ideas around a sub- ject, giving different perspectives on a given topic. For example, a teacher could create a list of po- tential research topics related to a specific issue, providing stu- dents with a starting point for their investigation. • Creating debating points to de- velop arguments for and against a specific topic, making it useful for discussions, thus facilitating class debates. • Drafting quizzes on specific top- ics and providing model answers making it easier for the students to study and help the teachers correct them. • Creating fill-in-the-blanks ex- ercises, providing a way for stu- dents to practice any subject. A teacher could use it to develop activities based on a reading pas- sage and then use it to test stu- dent comprehension. • Summarising text to help stu- dents understand the main con- cepts of a document and eventu- ally use it as a study aid. • Collect, process and present on- line data in tabular view, making it useful for data analysis and vis- ualisation. • Plan steps for scientific experi- ments, providing students with a guide for complex tasks. • Draft lab reports by assisting stu- dents with a guide on the content and asking ChatGPT for a cri- tique of their work before hand- ing it in. • Create study guides to give stu- dents a concise review of their study material. e system can also format it in a schedule that considers the study days avail- able, thus allowing students to plan better. • Generate code snippets, help- ing students practice coding and handholding them to solve com- putational problems. It can also review the code and spot simple errors. • Create reading comprehensions to help students understand text better while indirectly practising their reading. • Use it to explain cultural con- structs. For example, language teachers can use it to explain the idea behind the polite form found in languages such as Italian or French. • Gathering foreign language vo- cabulary to help students expand their knowledge of the language. A teacher can generate a list of new words in a foreign language together with their translation and then provide it to the stu- dents as a learning resource. • Creating foreign language ex- changes to develop scenarios or conversations, thus helping stu- dents practice dialogue skills. However, knowing how to use the tool is not enough, and teachers must also be aware of its limitations. ey have to keep in mind that ChatGPT lacks logical reasoning, so using it with mathematical problems is not advisable. e input it accepts is limited to around 500 words, and so is the expected output. Although the in- formation provided by ChatGPT may sound authoritative, it may occasion- ally produce incorrect information, harmful instructions, or biased con- tent. Finally, since ChatGPT was trained in 2021, it has no knowledge of facts oc- curring after that year. ChatGPT is just one of many AI tools available in the classroom. While these tools may seem daunting initially, it is crucial to recognise and use the poten- tial benefits. As technology advances, we can ex- pect to see other similar but more powerful tools emerge, such as Bloom, Google's Sparrow, and GPT-4 (expect- ed to be 1000x bigger). erefore, we have no choice since they're here to stay. Embracing these new tools and learn- ing how to use them effectively in the classroom is essential for the future of education.

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