Experts Report: Why Embracing Machine Learning Now Is Important for the Future


Screenshot of ChatGPT


College of Computing Dean Lance Fortnow: There's been a new program that's been taking the world by storm called chat GPT that allows you to have a conversation with an AI. And it is just utterly amazing, you can just talk about just about anything.

These things can create code, they can create stories, they can ask for instructions, but it's not just doing a search engine and regurgitating something that's already out there. It's actually putting things together and creating interesting ideas and combining ideas from lots of different  sources.

We've also done this now with art, so we have a number of programs—DALL-E, Stable Diffusion, Midjourney—that uh will create art based on prompts. So if you describe a picture, it'll draw that picture for you.

It's been a breakthrough. I think we have to embrace the future. I think if you try to fight the future that's just not going to work. So, I think we have to find a way to mesh the power of machine learning and the tools that we have now and the tools that we'll have five years in the future.

You have to mesh that within the current university environment so, make it collaborative work. So instead of trying to ban machine learning, they're trying to argue that it's not successful or just try to point out all its flaws. I think instead what we have to do is say, “Listen this is a powerful technology.” 

I think initially it is going to be a big distrust but over time, especially as the younger generation who will be born in a machine learning world, who gets older, you'll see more and more trust in machine learning. And as a tool, that will help in the educational process.