February 5, 2023
Recently, I was part of a university-wide panel on ChatGTP. With all the current brouhaha in higher education about the cheating potential of this new AI, my investigation led to an epiphany: AI is the future of English Studies.
Instead of being reactionary, most of the panel’s participants analyzed the capabilities of ChatGPT in their disciplines. Like any other trending technology, I’m always ready to try it out to see if it could be useful to me personally or professionally. I have to say: ChatGTP is pretty good in my initial attempts to use it. It summarized the plot of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1931 short story “Babylon Revisited” pretty well offering a bit of editorializing about themes, and then with a prompts gave me some general analyses using different modes of interpretation, like cultural, feminist, and psychological (I put some on LitWiki for reference). In each, it identified obvious themes, but was really unable to go beyond a cursory analysis. With leading prompts, I was able to get a few more specifics, but nary a direct quotation, nor a secondary reference was to be had. . .
I need to begin using some AI tools—more than just ChatGTP and Midjourney. I think my first project will be making videos for some standard lecture materials. I’ve wanted to video mini lectures for years, but the cumbersome nature of getting everything together for even a simple production kept me from bringing this desire to fruition. However, I think I’ll try Synthesia to put together something. I have the words; AI can supply the media.