ChatGPT - what is the BDC response?

Tuesday, 28 Feb 2023

Science fiction has long fascinated me with its exploration of new worlds and technologies that once seemed impossible. I am a child of the 1970s, so films such as Blade Runner (1982), War Games (1983), The Terminator (1984) and novels such as Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1979) and Isacc Asimov’s classic I, Robot have, to a certain degree, shaped my enthusiasm for science and technology. 

What did I learn from this popular fiction? That science and technology grow exponentially and that we need rules and ethics in this exciting new world.

Asimov, in fact, outlined his three laws of AI-driven robots as:

  • A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  • A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the first law.
  • A robot must protect its existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the first or second laws.

In 1956, Isaac Asimov authored The Last Question, a short story that contemplated the future of humanity and artificial intelligence. Asimov envisioned a world where a supercomputer could answer any question, including how to reverse entropy. 

Another key takeaway from science fiction is that many of those childhood dreams have become reality, making science fiction a precursor to science fact. I know that is a long bow, but please allow the latitude given the topic.

Today, we are closer to this vision than ever, thanks to artificial intelligence (AI) and tools like OpenAI's ChatGPT, which can write essays, solve math problems, compose music, create digital artworks, generate complex code and even explain concepts in different languages.

AI is advancing rapidly, with exponential growth in its development. It will undeniably impact industries as diverse as transport (autonomous vehicles - with driverless cars and buses) through to marketing, manufacturing and even public relations. We are already using the little chatbots on websites now. As educators, it's crucial to understand AI and its implications for our students, who will face a future of AI-assisted learning and work. Those who can harness its power will have a competitive advantage.

Bishop Druitt College aims to empower students with critical thinking skills, the ability to process large amounts of information, problem-solving capabilities, and self-directed learning skills. Our graduates are expected to be well-equipped to face the fast-paced and ever-changing world. While artificial intelligence can aid in achieving these objectives, it's important to acknowledge its potential biases and teach students to create and take charge of the technologies they use. The college's objective is to foster the development of students as compassionate and productive members of society while equipping them with the necessary skills, attitudes and attributes to adapt to any future.

So where to from here? At Bishop Druitt College, we are engaging with industry leaders and have developed an AI Thinktank to discuss such questions as:

  • Can ChatGPT complement or enhance our existing teaching and learning strategies? If so, how?
  • How will we ensure student authorship?
  • How will we train and educate our teachers, students, and parents about the appropriate use of ChatGPT?
  • What are the potential limitations or challenges of using ChatGPT, and how can we mitigate them?
  • What are the opportunities to build capacities in our students and our staff in their various roles?
  • What are the costs and resources required to implement and, if needed, monitor ChatGPT usage?
  • How can we gather feedback and continuously evaluate the effectiveness of ChatGPT in achieving our desired learning outcomes?

At Bishop Druitt College, we would love to hear your thoughts on this controversial issue. Please forward your thoughts, questions, suggestions, or comments to