Summary of This Week in AI - 04 June 2024

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00:00:00 - 00:25:00

In the June 4, 2024 episode of "This Week in AI," hosts Steve Hargadon and Reed Hepler discussed various aspects of AI's impact on society and ethical considerations. They touched upon the differing opinions on AI during a librarian boot camp, the need for transparency and ethical considerations in the industry, and the potential dangers of misusing technology. The conversation also covered the usage statistics of library robot.org, the emergence of agents and apps, and the integration of AI into everyday life, including energy production and education. The hosts emphasized the importance of teachers having a deep understanding of AI to effectively use it in the classroom and the need for generative teaching approaches. They also introduced the Technology Consumer or Producer (TCOT) model, which emphasizes the role of teachers as producers of ethical uses of technology for their students.

  • 00:00:00 In this section of the "This Week in AI" video from June 4, 2024, hosts Steve Hargadon and Reid Hepler discuss the impact of AI on various aspects of society and the ethical considerations surrounding its use. The boot camp session for librarians and libraries revealed a wide range of opinions on AI, with some focusing on ethics and proper use, while others prioritized innovation. The conversation then turned to the open letter published in the New York Times, where insiders from OpenAI called for greater transparency and protections in the industry due to the rush for dominance and potential risks associated with artificial general intelligence. The hosts also noted the confusion between artificial general intelligence and the singularity, with many people fearing the latter despite the two being distinct concepts.
  • 00:05:00 In this section of the "This Week in AI" video from June 4, 2024, Reed Hepler and Steve Hargadon discuss the misunderstanding of AI and its potential dangers. Hepler argues that people fear AI becoming out of control, or a singularity, but it's not the machines themselves that pose a threat, but rather the institutions and individuals creating and using them without considering ethical consequences. Hargadon emphasizes that large language models, like ChatGPT, are not logical or fact-based and should not be expected to provide truthful answers. Both speakers express concern over the misuse of technology, such as Facebook using personal data to train AI for profit, and the lack of transparency from AI companies regarding their systems' capabilities and limitations.
  • 00:10:00 In this section of the "This Week in AI" YouTube video from June 4, 2024, Steve Hargadon and Reed Hepler discuss the usage statistics of library robot.org, a platform that allows users to create custom GPTs for specific library tasks. According to Hepler, there have been at least 200 uses of the book finder tool, 200 uses of the book summarizer, and over 100 uses of the talk to a book and library programming assistant. The most popular tool, however, is not a competition for Book Buddy, which only has about 100 uses. The creators of library robot.org intended to showcase the potential of custom GPTs and provide a user-friendly webpage for those who don't want to learn chat GPT prompting. They also discuss the emergence of agents and apps, which are essentially the same concept but with different names. Agents like Rabbit R. One and Light O. One act as digital concierges, facilitating tasks such as ordering food, giving directions, scheduling reservations, and even sending emails. Apps, on the other hand, are AI-facilitated but not conversational in nature. Both agents and apps aim to be all-purpose AI tools.
  • 00:15:00 In this section of the "This Week in AI" YouTube video from June 4, 2024, Reed Hepler discusses his experience using Custom Gbts, a tool that allows users to call multiple generative models in the same conversation. Hepler shares how he created several tools for his wife, a speech pathologist, and combined them to create personalized worksheets for her students. He also explains how users can call one custom gpt from another and have multiple tools working in one conversation. Steve Hargadon questions the potential of this technology and its implications for competition with larger companies like Google. The conversation then shifts to the growing energy usage and focus on AI-capable chips for artificial intelligence, making it feel like a significant technological revolution.
  • 00:20:00 In this section of the "This Week in AI" video from June 4, 2024, Reed Hepler and Steve Hargadon discuss the increasing integration of AI into everyday life, specifically in the context of energy production and personal devices. Hepler explains that AI will become a significant part of the energy grid, while Hargadon expresses his expectation that individuals will primarily use AI through apps on their smartphones. The conversation then shifts to the comparison between open-source software and proprietary AI, with Hargadon raising concerns about the potential loss of independence and agency. The topic then pivots to the impact of AI on education, with Hargadon advocating for a generative teaching approach where students learn to create and use AI rather than just consuming it. The conversation ends with Hepler introducing the Technology Consumer or Producer (TCOT) model, which emphasizes the role of teachers as producers of ethical uses of technology for their students.
  • 00:25:00 In this section of the "This Week in AI" YouTube video from June 4, 2024, Reed Hepler and Steve Hargadon discuss the challenges of integrating AI into education and the need for teachers to have a deep understanding of AI to effectively use it in the classroom. Hargadon expresses concerns about how technology can be co-opted into the school system, focusing more on compliance and participation rather than student agency and scholarship. Hepler agrees and adds that becoming a generative teacher who uses AI requires a high level of AI literacy, which can be difficult for teachers to acquire. The conversation also touches upon the parallel between media literacy and AI generative teaching, emphasizing the importance of understanding the deeper nature of AI as a collaborative tool rather than just its surface-level applications.

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