Connection topics is an umbrella term that refers to a set of activities, which will allow us to cover one of the big ideas of the course, interdependence, the idea that computational technology should be in service of human flourishing.
On November 30, 2022, Open AI brought ChatGPT to the world, which then became the fastest growing consumer application in the history of the internet. Where did this technology come from? How was it built? Who benefits from it and in what ways? Is it safe for humans and societies? What other similar technologies exist or are being developed? We want to discuss these questions together, so that you are well-informed before using them, as our AI-powered tools policy describes. ChatGPT is one instance of a family of technologies that are collectively known as generative AI. The evolution and the human and societal impact of such technologies is the focus of the connection topics this semester.
The activities in a connection topic include:
- Read an article (or watch a video) for the day an article is posted (see list below)
- Participate in the class pop quiz on lecture (using plickers)
Note: Many articles in this list are from New York Times. Wellesley community has access to NYT through our library subscription. Sign up before trying to read the articles.
09/08/2023, On the origin of large language models, BERT: Finally, a Machine That Can Finish Your Sentence. Published on Nov 18, 2018.
09/15/2023, On the technology behind image generation, GAN: How an A.I. "Cat-and-Mouse" Game Generates Believable Fake Photos. Published on Jan 2, 2018.
09/22/2023, On the foundation of ChatGPT, GPT-3: Meet GPT-3. It Has Learned to Code (and Blog and Argue). Published on Nov 24, 2020.
09/29/2028, On the rise of tools like DALL-E 2, Midjourney, and Stable Diffusion: A.I.-Generated Art Is Already Transforming Creative Work. Published on Oct 21, 2022.
10/06/2023, On using AI for cooking, A.I. Wrote These Thanksgiving Recipes. Would You Make Them? and the related article published on the same day, Can A.I. Write Recipes Better Than Humans? We Put It to the Ultimate Test. Published on Nov 4, 2022.
10/13/2023, On the introduction of ChatGPT, The Brilliance and Weirdness of ChatGPT. Published on Dec 5, 2022.
- To be added soon