What can we expect from AI and Chatbots in the next few years?

March 31, 2023

On March 15, Newswise hosted an expert panel on how artificial intelligence and chatbots are changing the landscape of journalism and the transfer of knowledge (watch the video and read the transcript here). Panelists included Sercan Ozcan, Associate Professor of Innovation & Technology Management at the University of Portsmouth, Jim Samuel, Associate Professor of Public Informatics at Rutgers University-New Brunswick, and Alan Dennis, Professor of Information Systems at Indiana University. We learned that there are exciting things from AI tech that can assist us as science writers and communicators. How awesome is it to have a program summarize a study you might be struggling to get into coherent words with just a few carefully worded commands? ChatGPT can help with some of the routine work of a journalist and a science communicator, searching for information, gathering information, and possibly even putting that information into a first draft. But with that benefit come significant challenges. The biggest challenge is sussing out the bullshit (bullshit is a technical term according to our panelist Alan Dennis. Honest!). Artificial intelligence in the form of large language models (LLMs) such as ChatGPT gives information to you that looks very realistic, as if a real person wrote it. But this is an illusion. Sercan Ozcan refers to the deceiving output of chatbots such as ChatGPT as “hallucinations.”

The creation of misinformation is what worries Alan Dennis the most. “Deep fakes (artificial videos of real people) and other tools like it is going to change everything, particularly for journalism because we’ve created digital puppets of several different celebrities and I can make them say anything that I want them to say.”

Deep fakes are one thing, but what about the dangers of media relying on AI to generate news content? Panelist Jim Samuel says that “we need to treat AIs as some kind of very smart, but inexperienced and probably not very, not comprehensively knowledgeable teenager.” The output that AI produces requires supervision. Samuel says that we have a responsibility [as educators, media, and science communicators] to educate the public in order to develop internal mechanisms to deal with misinformation.

News Wise, March 31, 2023

Recent Posts

Nikpour Receives Office of Disability Services Award

Professor Fereydoun Nikpour was selected for the Office of Disability Services Faculty Honor Roll. The Faculty Honor Roll is a new initiative to recognize instructors who go above and beyond to support the work of the Office of Disability Services (ODS). ODS staff...

Heldrich Report: NJ’s Energy-Efficiency Workforce Needs

New Jersey's Energy-Efficiency Workforce Needs, Infrastructure, and Equity Assessment New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s Energy Master Plan and Executive Order 315 set a goal to reduce fossil fuel usage to 100% clean energy by 2035. The Executive Order also called for...

Shaul Picker Receives 2024 Mortensen-Voorhees Award

Shaul Picker is the 2024 recipient of the Mortensen-Voorhees Award for Achievement in Transportation Studies. This award is granted annually to the highest-achieving student with a concentration in transportation at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Urban Planning and...

NJSPL – Key Insights from Early Offshore Wind Implementation

By Jessica Parineet Offshore wind development is in its early stages in the United States, with just under one gigawatt (GW) of utility scale capacity constructed. State decarbonization goals have catalyzed industry progress thus far, however the Biden administration...

EJB Talks: Political Update with Stuart Shapiro and Amy Cobb

Analyzing Trump's Guilty Verdict and the 2024 Election Outlook Stuart Shapiro welcomes back Amy Cobb MPAP '18 for a political update in the final EJB Talks episode of the spring 2024 season. They discuss the potential consequences of Trump's guilty verdict for...

Upcoming Events

Latest Past Events

Jersey City Alumni Mixer

Zeppelin Hall Biergarten 88 Liberty View Dr, Jersey City

Join us for an alumni mixer in #JerseyCity on Thursday, June 6th at Zeppelin Hall Biergarten. Parking for Zeppelin Hall is FREE - more information can be found here: https://zeppelinhall.com/map/. This […]