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As the Open & Online Education SIG Chair, I am always excited to see new developments in all things open and online. However, sometimes those things can be polarizing and controversial. Coming back from my Christmas holiday, I have been confronted on a daily basis of one of those more controversial advancements – AI tools such as ChatGPT.

If I believe a lot of the chatter around me, there seems to be a lot of doom and gloom about AI tools making traditional assignments and non-proctored assessments completely unreliable, or fears of students over-relying on AI tools in a way that is detrimental to their learning. These discussions remind me a lot of the same controversies that arose when digital calculators became widely available and teachers complained about such tools ruining the classroom learning experience. Today, however, we accept the calculator as a necessary tool that does not replace the human mind, but enables humans to tackle more complex and interesting problems. Granted, there are certainly some concerns about AI in academia that we should take seriously, but we should also try to look constructively at it as a tool and try to discuss how it can be used ethically and responsibly. This line of thought brought me to the idea of interviewing ChatGPT to see what it had to say on the topic. For a little added fun, I decided to animate that interview, which I freely share below. Please feel free to watch it, share it, and spark constructive conversations about the potential of AI in engineering and in education!

Calvin Rans

Open & Online Education SIG Chair

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