OpenAI wants ChatGPT in classrooms, despite its high risk of misuse and confusion. The company has suggested ways for teachers to use the system beyond its traditional role as a research assistant for procrastinating students.
Dubious use case of unknown prevalence: plagiarism makes the chatbot controversial. Teachers worldwide have caught or suspected students of using ChatGPT to write essays or answer take-home quizzes. Based on your educational philosophy, this may be cheating, fair play, or something in between, but it is disrupting lesson plans worldwide.
OpenAI wants to rehabilitate its image in education, so it has offered a number of compelling ways to use it in the classroom.
ChatGPT can help English learners translate and write clearly. The system may forget facts, but a corpus of mostly correct writing keeps it grammatically correct while hallucinating. I’ve heard this from non-native English speakers, and it couldn’t be more useful to a 5th grader than to an adult.
OpenAI also repeats experts’ claims that it could help create new test questions or role-play as a job interviewer.
The best advice, from Geetha Venugopal in Chennai, India, is to teach kids not to trust everything a computer says:
In her classroom, she advises students to remember that the answers that ChatGPT gives may not be credible and accurate all the time, and to think critically about whether they should trust the answer, and then confirm the information through other primary resources. The goal is to help them “understand the importance of constantly working on their original critical thinking, problem solving and creativity skills.”
If those kids learn that, they’ll do what half the world can’t!
In a FAQ, the first (and likely most asked) question is about recognizing AI-generated content as student work.
OpenAI’s words are clear:
Do AI detectors work?
In short, no. While some (including OpenAI) have released tools that purport to detect AI-generated content, none of these have proven to reliably distinguish between AI-generated and human-generated content.
Instead of asking ChatGPT or other systems questions like “did you write this?” they advise against misinterpreting the model. They admit “small edits” are enough to avoid detection. For example, removing the “As an AI, I…” section that lazy plagiarists overlook.
OpenAI recommends having students show their work and drafts, including conversations with AI models, to show they are not blindly trusting them. They would know this in M. Venugopal’s class.
The company provides extensive prompts to cast ChatGPT as a tutor or assistant: “You are a friendly and helpful instructional coach helping teachers plan a lesson,” etc. While educators may not want to use these right away, reading them suggests what direction the agent needs to be helpful but not too helpful.
AI agents like ChatGPT will be part of education in the future, even though they can be abused. Who can say they didn’t install games on their TI-83 graphing calculator or copy their Napoleon report from Encarta? Probably many young people. Despite dating myself, the similarities are clear. Only if students and teachers adopt and customize the tools will they adapt.
Mobile apps from Threads make profile switching easy
Twitter rival, Threads, owned by Meta, now allows account switching without logging out.
This Thursday, the social networking app announced that users can swap accounts on its mobile apps by long pressing the bottom right profile icon. Tap “Add profile” after the long press to add a profile.
Users can easily switch between work and personal profiles. Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri did not say if the profile-switching feature allowed you to add a limit of accounts.
On the same day as Facebook allowed multiple personal profiles on Blue, the text-based social networking app announced its profile feature.
Threads keeps adding features three months after its launch. It began testing full-text search in New Zealand and Australia late last month. The company launched global search this month.
Threads’ competitors ship features in a competitive social media landscape. Mastodon released version 4.2 this week with improved profile and post search, automatic quick action suggestions in the search box, a new web interface with thread indicators and article previews, and a Privacy and Reach settings tab.
Elon Musk said X will collect ‘a tiny monthly payment’ for its service
X owner Elon Musk suggested today that Twitter may no longer be free. Musk said the business was “moving to a small monthly payment” for the X system in a live-streamed meeting with Netanyahu on Monday. He suggested such a tweak to address platform bots.
Musk said, “It’s the only way I can think of to combat vast armies of bots.” According to him, bots have a high effective cost due to their low cost (a tenth of a penny), even though they require a few dollars. Each bot creator needed a new payment method to make another bot.
Musk said the new subscription price would be a “small amount of money.”
Musk also announced that X now has 550 million monthly users and 100 to 200 million daily postings. Musk’s stats may include automated accounts, either good bots like news feeds or malicious bots like spammers.
This figure couldn’t be compared to Twitter’s pre-Musk user base, which was computed using mDAU, Twitter’s own metric. This earlier statistic identified Twitter users who may be monetized by adverts. Twitter reported 229 million mDAUs in Q1 2022.
Musk did not specify when he would charge for X. Since Musk took over the network last year, it has been pushing users to subscribe to X Premium (formerly Twitter Blue). This $8 per month or $84 per year subscription service lets you modify posts, reduce the ad load, prioritize search and conversation rankings, make lengthier posts, and more.
X doesn’t divulge its paying subscribers, but independent research shows X Premium doesn’t attract most customers. X Premium has 827,615 subscribers, according to one estimate.
Musk has considered charging everyone for X. In fact, Platformer claimed last year that Musk was considering a Twitter paywall.
Though hate speech on X came up, Musk and Netanyahu discussed AI technologies and regulation today. Musk called himself “against antisemitism” and “anything that promotes hate and conflict.” Musk threatened to sue the Anti-Defamation League, which has accused Musk and X of antisemitism, in his latest fight.
X launches government ID account verification
For paid users, X, formerly Twitter, has implemented government ID-based account verification to prevent impersonation and provide “prioritized support.”
Social media partner Au10tix provides identity verification solutions from Israel. The ID verification pop-up says the Au10tix can store this data for 30 days.
X’s verification support page says ID verification is available in “numerous countries,” but not in the EU, EEA, or UK. The region’s strict data protection laws likely explain this.
ID-based verification seems unnecessary and rarely beneficial. The company may age-gate content based on ID age.
“X currently focuses on account authentication to prevent impersonation and may explore additional measures, such as ensuring users have access to age-appropriate content and protecting against spam and malicious accounts, to maintain platform integrity and healthy conversations,” it said.
Users who pass the verification badge will receive a government ID verification note. Only clicking the blue checkmark on the profile page shows it. The company said ID-verified users will get “prioritized support from X Services,” but this is unclear.
The company allowed paid users to hide checkmarks from their profiles last month.
X plans to speed up checkmark reviews if users verify their IDs. Plus, they can frequently change their names, usernames, and profile photos without losing the checkmark.
Only paid users can use ID-based verification. Ironically, X promotes impersonation and spam reduction but doesn’t offer verification tools to all users.
Twitter discontinued legacy verification and removed account checkmarks in April. However, the company reinstated the top account checkmark after much chaos.
“This will additionally help us tie, for those that choose, an account to a real person by processing their government-issued ID,” X told Bloomberg. “This will also help X fight impersonation attempts and secure the platform.”
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