You might have noticed our new banner image on our HASTAC website. It looks great, and it was created by HASTAC Co-Director Parisa Setayesh, using AI. When she told me she had tried a few things with AI to develop a new illustration for our HASTAC Scholars Digital Fridays, I was very curious to see the results. The results are amazing, as I am sure you can see. However, one of my following impulses was to ask Parisa – how did you do? What did you ask the AI to draw, and how?
We have been discussing these experiments with AI a lot. More and more students are using Chat GPT to write essays. More instructors are using AI as part of class exercises and to create guidelines and other course material. The higher education community is quickly incorporating the tool and trying it out, checking its potential, discovering its risks and biases, and more widely playing around to see how it can transform our experience as scholars, instructors, and students.
HASTAC has been at the forefront of the reflection on interdisciplinary scholarship and digital transformation for many years now. This makes us a great community to share our experiments with AI. What do we use it for? How do we approach it? What are some of the challenges we face and some of the biases we uncover? All those questions are remarkably relevant and shape not only the way we engage with AI but also how we make sure to push it towards a more inclusive, just, and creative tool. After this first discussion we had with Parisa, we would like to launch a new HASTAC blog series, “Playing with AI”, where members of the community could tell us how they have been engaging with AI and what interrogations have emerged from these experiments.
Following are some of the questions that could guide this sharing of experience:
- What am I using AI for?
- What program did you decide to use and why?
- What did I learn about the way I drafted my guidelines? Were there some challenges in getting to the result I envisioned?
- What was the result? Was it surprising?
- Would you repeat the experiment? Did you think of other uses you could do of AI based on that experience?
I hope that these first questions will help us build collective knowledge and, mostly, a better sense of the potential of AI while also mapping the traps and biases we will have to navigate to make it our shared tool in the academy. And to inaugurate this blog series, Parisa Setayesh will be the first one to share her experience!
PhD Candidate in Geography, The Graduate Center at CUNY