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The robots are not quite ready to take our jobs: Automatic Blog Post Generation

My original idea for this blog post came in spring when I was at a loss of inspiration for writing a blog post. I came up with the idea of using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to write my post for me. I wanted to see if it was possible to automatically produce a blog post with very little input from a user. Having seen successful examples of people using AI to create news articles, I wondered if robots could take on academic writing too. It was somewhat of a success. I say somewhat, as the post was coherent but felt like statements strung together rather than a complete post.

To start my adventure into AI and blog post writing, I entered a few keywords into a deep learning system and asked it to produce a title in the form of a blog post. I used OpenAI's Generative Pre-Trained Transformer 3 (GPT-3) for these experiments and the keywords: technology, higher education, integrate, and classroom. GPT-3 is an autoregressive language model designed to use deep learning to produce human-like text. Once the system had run for a little while, the title of the post I got back was:

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The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly: A Look At How Technology Can Help, But Not Necessarily Improve, Our Classroom Experience

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When the system returned this title, I was excited. I felt this title would make a great blog post. I asked the computer to use it instead of keywords to produce an entire blog post to build on this title. Creating a paragraph at a time, and after a couple of iterations and failed sections, this was the first blog post the system felt met the requirements of the title. The AI system also produced the subheadings.

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"Technology has rooted its way into our day to day existence

But when technology is integrated into the classroom seamlessly and thoughtfully, students not only become more engaged, they begin to take more control over their learning, too. Effective tech integration changes classroom dynamics, encouraging student-centred project-based learning. Thinking about how you are using technology with your students, are you employing technology daily in the classroom? Does using these various tools to complete assignments and create projects show a deep understanding of content? If your answer is "No," is it because you lack enough access to technology? Is it because you don't feel ready? Or do you feel ready but need additional support in your classroom?"

"Understanding technology integration 

Today, technology plays a significant role in a student's academic experience, both in and out of the classroom. Technology allows students to obtain a "hands-on" experience in addition to traditional teaching methods. Connected devices and software can help teachers manage assignments, track student data and put information directly into students' hands. These technological tools help to create meaningful assignments and showcase students' learning, providing opportunities for reflection, discussion, and, importantly, problem-solving. After all, technology in and of itself is not a problem, and it is merely another tool to get students' attention, help them learn, and achieve mastery in an online setting."

"How do I integrate technology into the classroom? 

Technology integration is an essential piece of any project. But what tools do you need, what applications are compatible, and how do you want to use them? The good news is that there are many options for teachers who wish to integrate technology into their classroom. As a technology integration expert, I have worked with many educators. Some have deployed apps like PowerPoint or Scratch to introduce kids to content and game design. Others have created simple websites that incorporate only a couple of the most commonly used technologies (text and video editing). When I am working with educators to set up their classrooms, I start by offering them an overview of various platforms and learning areas that they can explore."

"Conclusion 

With access to increasingly varied tech tools and methods at your fingertips, it is essential to educate yourself on the tools you are using. Educators and learners alike need to recognize the different roles that different tools can play and why it is essential to keep up with a constant flow of new, exciting technology."

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AI has come a long way from IBM's Deep Blue became the first computer to beat a chess champion when it defeated Russian grandmaster Garry Kasparov in 1997, but it is fair to say robots are not quite ready to take our jobs. However, the post created via AI shows how far natural language and deep learning systems have come. Although not perfect, the system was able to create a readable blog post from just a title with relative ease.