Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Thomas College Artificial Intelligence (AI) Guide
Image credit: Artificial Intelligence & AI & Machine Learning by mikemacmarketing is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

“By far, the greatest danger of Artificial Intelligence is that people conclude
too early that they understand it.” —Eliezer Yudkowsky

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Defined

There is no single universally accepted definition for AI. In some sense it may be more accurate to think of it as a category. For practical purposes this definition generated by ChatGPT may be useful as a basic explanation:

“Artificial Intelligence (AI) refers to the simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to perform tasks that typically require human intelligence. It involves the development of computer systems or algorithms that can process information, learn from experience, adapt to new inputs, and perform tasks with varying degrees of autonomy.”

OpenAI. (2023). ChatGPT (July 10 version) [Large language model].

Guiding Statement

The College’s position on Artificial Intelligence (AI) is that, as with all new technologies, we seek ways to use and adapt AI in our classrooms most effectively to prepare students for the intersection of technology with their professional careers.

To date, artificial intelligence that has been used has been based on programmed algorithms that use computer efficiencies for decision-making and data management. With the introduction of generative-AI that aggregates data by means of a neural network, rather than a programmed algorithm, our information space has the potential to significantly change very quickly. Given that higher education has knowledge as a fundamental focus in preparing learners, it is imperative that we integrate strategies to address this new technology throughout our curriculum. With that in mind, we commit to engage our community to prepare our students for a future that will infuse these technologies at an ever-increasing rate.

Potential Uses

Among the exciting aspects of AI are the wide-ranging potential applications:

Instructional – Large Language Models (LLM) have been the initial focus to change how the written word is produced. But beyond writing, generative AI is already producing images, multimedia presentations, and video.

Professional – A variety of AI tools (algorithmic and generative) are already being used to streamline processes and create more effective work-flows. Generating a summary, for instance, may now only take a few minutes or even seconds (prompts matter).

OER and DEI – AI is an excellent addition to the growing number of tools that can be used to make educational materials both more affordable and accessible. Unfortunately, educational materials often underrepresent or fail to consider aspects related to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. AI can help modify or create resources that address varied backgrounds including but not limited to ethnicity, gender, language, neurodivergence, or even physical limitations. Using AI in conjunction with OER (material without any copyright restrictions) will enable adapting material more easily and efficiently.

Resources and Training

Library Faculty Services

Among other services for faculty, the library maintains a set of pages related to various aspects of Artificial Intelligence including general overviews, or go to a specific topic by selecting one of the following links.

Training and Professional Development

For further training and professional development opportunities please keep an eye out for email announcements..