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Opinion: I’m co-teaching my college class with ChatGPT. Will it upstage me?

Elizabeth Blakey

The Los Angeles Times

Aug 21, 2023

Character.ai, openAI ChatGPT and Runway RunwayML app on screen. Assorted AI software applications

Comedian Steve Martin once said that teaching is like show business. I try to keep this in mind when I’m giving college lectures.

But what happens when the entertaining professor gets upstaged by a chatbot that can produce the lecture as well as write student papers and take the final exam? Does the college class become a meaningless joke?

Well, no.

There are people who fear that ChatGPT, Bard and other generative AI bots will let students outsource their own learning. But I teach media history. I know that new media technologies do not make people obsolete. Video did not kill the radio star.

So rather than slip some language about ChatGPT in the policy section of my syllabus about plagiarism (which won’t stop students who know about the apps that can rewrite papers to evade detection), my plan this fall is to focus on creating interactive lessons that incorporate chatbots directly into my teaching.

Instead of letting chatbots change the learning process, I’ll show my students that anything that chatbots can do, they can do better.