For the past few years, Artificial Intelligence (AI) was ambiguous and practically out of reach for most of us. Unless you are working for a large technology company or NASA, AI hasn’t been a part of our day-to-day tasks. Now, whether you’re an educator, parent, student or even a communications professional, you can take advantage of AI and its endless opportunities, thanks to one of the most recent tools, ChatGPT.
When new technologies arise, it is easy to sit on the sidelines until you’re obligated to take part. The CESO Communications team gathered together to learn more about ChatGPT and how it can benefit you as a communications leader, and your school district as a whole. Have fun!
Perspective: School District Leader
How should we educate our staff members on AI?
Treat AI as any other new technology tool you are introducing to your staff members. Partner with your technology team to offer helpful articles and resources, plan lunch-and-learns and potentially bring in a speaker during a professional development session.
How will AI affect students in their education?
A common fear when it comes to students and AI is that it could lead to shortcuts that stunt learning. However, if a student is learning from their teacher how to potentially use AI as a tool rather than a replacement, they are more likely to use it for good. In an article by John M. Richardson, he spoke with Dr. Neil Selwyn from Australia’s Monash University, who said “students need to be taught to recognize when they are interacting with a bot, how to use AI tools productively, and how to communicate in ways that are superior to machines.”
Should we inform our families of this new technology?
Yes! Informing families of new technologies will put their minds at ease when they may see their student interacting with it. We recommend providing resources and additional information through your current family communications channels, including an email newsletter or web page. If there are already parent meetings in place, this would be a great opportunity for a staff member to share more information and answer any questions.
Perspective: Communications Leader
Where is the ChatGPT content pulled from?
The information within ChatGPT or other AI tools does not come from Google, rather it is pulled from a large repository of data including text, images and audio recordings. As mentioned in an article by Ethan Mollick in the Harvard Business Review, “It is no replacement for Google. It literally does not know what it doesn’t know, because it is, in fact, not an entity at all, but rather a complex algorithm generating meaningful sentences.”
What are limitations and potential ethical considerations of using AI?
We could do a completely separate blog post on this question, but we’ll give you the basics. Since AI’s behavior is determined by its algorithm, it is essentially up to its creators to determine what ethical guidelines are built into the system. Humans have biases and prejudices and so do the people who are programming these systems, which means they run the risk of skewing the output and displaying racism, sexism or abusive language.
OpenAI also recognizes limitations of ChatGPT on its website, sharing that it can write plausible-sounding but incorrect or nonsensical answers, it is often excessively verbose and overuses certain phrases, and that while they have made efforts to make the model refuse inappropriate requests, it sometimes responds to harmful instructions.
It’s important to understand these risks so you can look for them and personalize the messages to your communities, like we recommend below.
How do I get started with ChatGPT?
The easiest way to get started is to simply ask the bot a question and see what happens, but the more people have become familiar with the way this algorithm works, the more they learn that questions should get really specific. For example, instead of asking the system to write a social media post about crosswalk safety, you could say:
“Generate three tips for crosswalk safety.” (Allow ChatGPT to respond)
Once you have your initial response, you can ask for specificity. “Formulate the generated text in multiple tweets. Keep in mind the maximum length of 280 characters per tweet. Use short sentences and do not stretch them across multiple tweets.”
You can continue to alter the text with simple commands like “add empathy to this text” or “use slang” (do this if you need a laugh, as most of the slang is from the late 90’s at best).
The more specific you get with the prompt, the better the content will be. Once you have that content perfect, you can make it more brand-centric.
How can I use ChatGPT in my everyday work?
As recommended by Mushtaq Bilal, Ph.D., it is best to use ChatGPT to give you structure rather than content for a project, because the content provided is predictable. Combine the recommended suggestions with your ideas and experiences to tailor the information to your school district. For example, you can ask ChatGPT to share ideas for a video script about students working in the community or ideas for a new marketing campaign.
To share how this could work, we typed in, “share ideas for a staff recruitment campaign in a small rural school district” and received the following answer within seconds:
Reading through this response, the structure for the campaign is present, but the one obvious missing key is the personalization for the specific school district. If you are struggling with getting started, asking a simple prompt like the one above can provide a foundation. Take this structure and add your brand language and key messages throughout to truly make it a unique and specific campaign for your community.
As we prompted ChatGPT over and over, it became clear that it could be a wellspring of ideas — but without your unique perspective, the content will sound and potentially be identical to others who are using this tool. As such, branding will become more important than ever.
- Do you know what makes your district different?
- Do you have a defined brand voice?
- Do you know how to elevate your mission, vision, and values work harmoniously with other content?
If you have not been through a branding process, you might not have these answers. We would love to help you uncover or rebuild your brand — it’s one of our specialties! Find out more when you reach out to CESO Communications today!