AI Essentials for ECC Faculty

The AI Subcommittee’s resource collection for faculty encompasses five critical areas:

Understanding AI

AI Resources to Try

  1. ChatGPT – (Updated 10/31/2023)
    • ChatGPT is the industry standard.
    • Free version available after account creation with email and password.
    • ChatGPT Plus ($20/month) offers an enhanced model.
      • Note: Don’t base assumptions about ChatGPT Plus on the free version.
    • New capability to upload and analyze various document types, including PDFs.
    • Voice chat feature added to the platform.
      • Suitable for teaching applications like student evaluations and feedback from multiple “perspectives”.
    • Code Interpreter is now named “Advanced Data Analysis”.
      • Enhancements in math, logic & reasoning, coding/programming, and data interpretation.
    • Phone app with the best vocal transcription ever is available for Android and Apple.
    • DALL-E 3 has now been included, which allows for advanced image recognition and creation.
      • Enhances visual content analysis and generation for academic and teaching purposes.
  2. Bing Chat (Must be used in Microsoft Edge) – (Updated 10/31/2023)
    • Accessible with a free Bing account.
    • Exclusively usable in Microsoft Edge browser.
    • “Creative Mode” is built on ChatGPT-4 (typically, ChatGPT-4 access requires a paid subscription).
    • Bing Chat can access the internet.
      • Capability to cite/link to web sources (always verify for accuracy).
    • Features image recognition and creation tools.
  3. Claude 2.0 – (Updated 10/31/2023)
    • Top competitor to ChatGPT-4 that is built on unique architecture.
    • Available for free to the general public.
    • Key upgrades:
      • Ability to upload up to 5 text documents.
      • “Memory” of nearly 70,000-word context enables extended conversational threads and improved analysis of longer texts.
      • Highly regarded for creative writing and poetry.
    • More pleasant user interaction compared to ChatGPT.
      • Note: Increased “agreeableness” may lead to more inaccuracies.
  4. Perplexity.AI – Designed to be a citation search engine, this AI will provide quick Wikipedia-like explanations of topics, as well as list links to reputable sources on that topic. It is fairly reliable (finds real sources), but not entirely useful (doesn’t provide access for those sources, not always relevant) for finding peer-reviewed sources on a particular topic. Probably provides utility only for source-finding over Googling.
  5. Google Bard – (Updated 10/31/2023) Currently an afterthought in the AI text generation space, as there is no unique use case or instance in which it outperforms other available tools. However, Google Gemini is expected to be a significant upgrade (possibly the first competitor to outperform ChatGPT-4) which will be released in 2024.
  6. – A free AI tool to turn a lesson plan (or even just a small prompt) automatically into a nearly finished PowerPoint presentation. Here’s a video showing how it works. This is a functionality that will likely exist inside Office 365 within 2023. However, in the short term, it’s still a simple, massive time-saver.
  7. Guidde – A paid tool available only as an extension in Chrome (for now) to quickly create explanation videos, GIFs, or PDFs explaining a process. Helpful for creating documentation about how software or websites work for your students.
  8. Synthesys – A paid tool to create AI audio, video, and realistic human avatars from text prompts and scripts.
  9. Midjourney – Midjourney is considered the best image generation tool available, but it has no free options and only operates through Discord.
  10. Stable Diffusion – Stable Diffusion is a free, open source image generation tool. The best available free version of the tool is ClipDrop, which is built upon Stable Diffusion’s tool.
  11. Chirp (Discord Invite Link) – (Updated 10/31/2023) A lyric and musical generation tool only available through Discord for now. Here is an example that was made in 90 seconds after a prompt for a “hard metal song about how awesome East Central College Faculty are”.

Each resource provides insights into how we can harness AI to optimize our teaching methods and engage students, as well as how to manage potential pitfalls and maintain the integrity of our coursework.

We hope these resources will help you navigate this complex yet exciting terrain. Your questions, suggestions, or requests for additional assistance are welcome.