I finished this right before Bible study tonight and was expecting a typical study that starts off with the usual half hour of talking and a few worship songs, then breaking out into smaller groups for some deep study questions on whatever the new study is going to be. (I promise this will get around to the process of writing this piece).

Well, it actually ended up being something completely new that I wasn’t too sure about when I walked in. We had spiritual discipline “stations,” for lack of a better word. One room was sectioned off for meditation on scripture, another for study, another for prayers of adoration and thanksgiving, and another for prayers of supplication.

When I was in the church library (which was the scripture meditation room for the night) I felt led to go back to my roots and examine how far I’ve come since first reading 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8. Some of you may or may not remember from last semester what the significance was when I first read it from the end of this blog post. But what I began to realize is that it’s not as much about what He’s done for me as I first thought— not that I was wrong before either because what He’s done is still true— but it’s more just about who He is.

And I think without realizing it, I was slowly coming to a place where I’ve begun to realize that, and 2048 A.D. is like a culmination of that realization that no matter what god, gods, or lack thereof that anyone else could believe in, there is no god that is as personal, gracious, wise, generous, and merciful. And when I say personal, I mean He met me when I was so broken and exhausted and tired of the cycle of relationship hopping and using myself and others just to try to normalize an abuse that was never meant to be a normal thing anyway, when I knew nothing but the pain that I’d caused myself and that others caused me (even though I blamed myself for that too at the time). He straight up slapped me across the face, pulled me back up on my feet, and dusted me off, pulling me into a big ol’ bear hug as He let me cry into His chest. I could feel again because of that moment of clarity.

So getting back to the process (and what all of that has to do with it), I wanted to capture some of that in this piece. While I don’t think AI will annihilate the human race, I think we will become enslaved to it as my old self was enslaved in the same sense to my old habits. I think many of us already have fallen into that trap, some without acknowledging it. I didn’t know quite how to put that into just 200-500 words, so I stuck to dialogue and a few details.

The details I included outside the dialogue intentionally highlight the humanity of Hinton though, and focus on a certain joy despite his regret for pioneering artificial intelligence. I have no idea if he knows this same inexplicable joy that God provides out of (sometimes literal) nothingness, but I could imagine that if he would give up a comfortable job to try and help people to learn about AI and how to protect from its potential hazards, some part of him does. Some part of him is seeing a pattern that we are being defined by the things we create, rather than the things we create being defined by us. Many churches and people do the same to God where they try to define Him when it’s actually Him who defines us because creation is defined by its Creator. We just get the joy and honor of reflecting that even just a tiny bit, even though many abuse that ability to create as I do not believe was Hinton’s intention, but there are certainly others that realize what AI’s brain-numbing superpowers could allow them to do.

So, I’m grateful for so much. Above all else I’m grateful for Jesus and His grace and mercy, but I’m also so grateful that He’s allowed my Thursday nights for the past two semesters to be filled with such beautiful people, I’m grateful that He made a way for this year at Kean to even be possible for me (that’s a story for class though if anyone wants to hear it because it was a literal miracle), and I’m just all around grateful.

When Anxiety Attacks !

Below is my Microfiction:

Violet Penelope goes to Yale University, the Harvard of the North, at least that is what everyone says. She is from Lancaster, a small town in Pennsylvania.  All throughout highschool she excelled in school and was praised with many accolades and awards to recognize her achievements. Her parents were so proud, but they did not know how much school was making her suffer. She was diagnosed with anxiety during her last semester of her freshman year, and it was due to the pressure she was applying to herself. Violet was taking medications but it never seemed to work.

Finals week has proven to be her toughest week to date. “She was exhausted from hours spent poring over research and articles on the potential of artificial intelligence in higher education, but her mind was still racing with intrusive thoughts about looming deadlines and the potential for failure; her research due, her final project in the morning, and the final exam at the end of the week. She tried to shake them off, to focus on the task at hand – but it was hard when her anxiety seemed so determined to overwhelm her.” (Sudowrite) “This project seeks to explore the current potential of artificial intelligence in higher education, and to evaluate its potential for revolutionizing the way we learn, adapt, and think.”(SudoWrite) These words appeared to bounce around on her computer screen as she kept re-reading the instructions for the assignment. 

Living in a world with AI all around her she tried her best to be honest in her work. Morality was everything to Violet, but with all of the pressure over her head like a dark cloud she was starting to think about using these writing tools to complete her final research paper. She has never done this before and just wanted to see how much it could help take some of the stress off of herself. So she decided this would be the best option to use an AI writing tool just for a head start. 

Tonight before she started working on her paper she wanted to use some exercises her psychiatrist had given to her when she ever felt the walls closing in on her. “For a moment, she was tempted to take a break, to grab her phone and check her emails or catch up on the news – anything to get her mind off of her impending disaster – but she quickly dismissed the idea.”(Sudowrite) Social media is always her go to when she wants a great distraction and possibly a laugh, but even that wouldn’t make the task at hand go away. “Instead, she took a deep breath and closed her eyes, trying to calm her racing heart and plummeting thoughts. She reminded herself that she could do this; that she had the knowledge and the skills to succeed, and that she could rise to the challenge.”(Sudowrite)

She opened ChatGPT and typed in “AI on the rise in higher learning. What environment does this create in Education?” The words appear in a flash and immediately she is met with a ton of inspiration. She sits for a few hours and literally flies through her paper. Violet kept breathing slowly to keep her calm and she finally finished, and was very proud of herself for overcoming this hump yet again. 

“Violet was pleased to learn that AI had helped her achieve her goal and that she was no longer limited by her anxiety. She had taken a chance and used AI to make her research paper easier, and it had paid off. She was grateful for the opportunity to prove to herself that she had what it took to succeed.”(SudoWrite)

Writing this micro fiction I wanted to kind of tell my story. I suffer with anxiety and I have since my 3rd year of my undergrad. Seeking help from my therapist has helped me put a lot into perspective over the years. Starting this graduate program brought back my anxiety, because I have this need to do well. I want to show myself that I can do it, be even my parents who have put a lot into my education through my years of school. I never have never wanted to let them down, and I learned that sometimes this thought in my head held me back a lot. I had to learn that alot of my issue was mind over matter. Sometimes the voices in my head can override my true thoughts and opinions, and I needed to learn how to shut them off.

I enjoyed using SudoWrite I can see how it can be a helpful tool when creating a story of any kind. It offered me a lot of options and directions to go in with the suggestions they gave. It made writing this piece quite simple, especially keeping in mind the word count. As a writer I can over talk (or over type), but SudoWrite really helped to keep it short and simple and still get my thoughts out.

As AI writing tools progress I hope to see educators using these tools in the classrooms to help students gain confidence when it comes to writing. I feel great collaborations can come from using these tools and can help students create great work. Embracing these tools can help offer more in the classroom as well.