Ivy League university unveils plan to teach students with AI chatbot this fall – New York Post

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Students at one of America’s most elite universities will be in for a surprise this fall when they discover their flagship coding class is taught with help from an A.I. chatbot in a bend on what Professor David Malan, the course’s overseer, defines as an “evolution” of “tradition.”
Harvard University unleashed plans to incorporate A.I. chatbots to teach the course, venturing deeper into the uncharted territory of artificial intelligence – a territory that has exponentially grown and altered the course of technology in the past several months.
Though the idea sounds novel and exciting, Martin Rand, PactumAI co-founder, and CEO, warned to be wary of the “dangers.”
“I would say the dangers are that we have to consider that these are statistical models. These will come up with the most probable answers and high probability can also mean mediocrity. So professors need to be there to provide exceptionalism, and I think Harvard has taken the right approach in providing this only to introductory courses,” he said.
Rand said, despite the potential drawbacks, the development has an upside and could help “create growth” and encourage further innovation and education.
According to the school’s newspaper, The Harvard Crimson, Professor Malan said the introductory-level coding course that will employ the bot has historically aimed to unveil new software in its syllabus and the “CS50 [Computer Science 50] bot” is another way of doing just that.
“Our own hope is that, through AI, we can eventually approximate a 1:1 teacher: student ratio for every student in CS50, as by providing them with software-based tools that, 24/7, can support their learning at a pace and in a style that works best for them individually,” he told The Crimson.
Per the paper, the A.I. bot will help students find errors in their coding, answer questions, offer feedback, and help students learn more about the coding process in other ways.
Malan further explained that, though the bot will have question-answering capabilities, its answers can be reviewed by human staff members.
He also explained that the bot’s purpose is to help guide students through the learning process instead of outright answering questions for them.
Advancements in artificial intelligence, particularly in education, have raised concerns that the bots could lead students to become lazy and increasingly dependent on technology for answers.
Students have already begun using ChatGPT to complete school assignments in recent months.