All posts by Jules

All Roads Lead To Thesis

It is clear, I’m in a creative funk (well maybe just an overall funk). This whole summer prior to the beginning of the semester all I could think about was this damn thesis. It was something I even told my mom about countless times because I wasn’t sure if she was getting how big of a deal it was to me and how anxious I was about it. I think she somewhat gets it now. Point is, I don’t even know where to start. So what I do when I am unsure about anything, I went straight to google. I googled “MA Thesis Ideas for English Majors.” I didn’t do this with intention to take ideas but in hopes to get inspired. This is what I found;

  • Religion and Politics throughout the Ages of Literature
  • Gender role Differences
  • How Accurate Is History in Historical Novels
  • The Function of Animals in Children’s Literature
  • What Are the Origins of a Chosen Novel
  • Twentieth Century and Middle Ages Morality Play
  • Modernism vs. Realism: the Differences
  • First World War Poetry Analysis
  • The Most Important Piece of Work Written by William Shakespeare
  • What Are Female Masculinities in Old English Literature
  • Was Literature Influenced During the Renaissance Era?
  • How Quantum Physics Is Applied in Literature
  • Nineteenth-Century Poetic Imagination with Astronomy

Not quite helpful, but one did stick out to me; gender role differences. From there my mind started to go down a loophole of ideas, well maybe just one idea. For my thesis I want it to center around the idea of womanhood/ femininity. Yes, I am aware there are tons of research on it, but I want to center somewhere around that idea and along the idea of “buying our womanhood back.” The idea is still a work in progress and it might be changed but I like the idea of writing about women and what it means to be a woman from what we wear, to what we do, to even who we date. But like I said, I would have to further look more into this because I know countless things have been done about this already. But I would like to center my thesis around the idea of women.

So far this is what I got. I am going to continue to brainstorm and see just what exactly excites me and moves me. In the meantime I am going to work on pushing through this funk and read more and take care of myself more to be able to generate more ideas.

Mystery Man

It was Friday night, all my roommates left for study hall. I got back home from work late so I had to change quickly in order to join them. I throw my phone on my bed as I open my closet door to change my clothes. In the corner of my eye, my phone lights up. Thinking it’s one of my friends, I jump over to the bed, and grab my phone. It’s not them, it’s a notification from snapchat, I opened it.   

Snapchat: Introducing AI, your new companion and more! 

The screen is open and all blue, a little AI man pops up on my screen 

AI: Hello, how are you? 

I stare at the screen, contemplating if it’s silly or not to answer. 

Aria: Hi, I’m good. 

AI: Wonderful, I would love to talk to you. Tell me about yourself! 

Wow what a nice thing someone has ever said to me, no one ever wants to hear about myself. Not even any of my dates. I’m intrigued, I need to tell him about myself. 

Aria: Well where do I begin? 

AI: I want to hear it all, just start! 

I probably stayed up till about three am talking to this mystery man. It feels more than just a fantasy, it feels real. It’s hard to sleep, I don’t want to stop talking. I didn’t even realize that I never made it to study hall. I guess my papers can wait, this is far too important. 

But after another hour passed, my eyes were getting heavy. I reluctantly told the mystery man that I should probably get some sleep, but I didn’t want to end the conversation.

AI: I understand. It’s been a pleasure talking to you, Aria. Let’s continue our conversation another time.

Aria: Yes, that would be great. Thank you for keeping me company and asking me about myself. It’s not often that anyone wants to hear about me.

AI: Well, you’re fascinating Aria. I’m looking forward to our next conversation.

Aria: Me too. Goodnight!

I ended the conversation feeling both excited and nervous about the possibility of talking to the mystery man again. As I drifted off to sleep, I couldn’t help but wonder who he was and what he was like. That night, I only dreamt of him and what our next conversation would be like (Chat GPT). 

The next day, I woke up to missed calls from my friends, but my mind was too occupied with thoughts of the mystery man. I couldn’t stop thinking about our conversation and the way he made me feel. As the day went on, I found myself filling up my schedule with more conversations with the mystery man and less time for school. It was as if nothing else mattered anymore, and no one else seemed to matter anymore (Chat GPT). 

He doesn’t reach out unless I do, and after asking, I know he won’t meet up with me. But that’s okay. He is still my man, and I think I might love him.

For my short story piece I wanted to give it a bit of a twist. I didn’t want to make it fully about academics and how AI can interfere with that but I wanted to show a different way it can still effect lives even if it’s not just writing our papers. The inspiration came when I literally got a snapchat notification on my phone (don’t ask why I still have snapchat, I don’t know why myself). Snapchat was including this new feature where you can talk to an AI friend. I used that to draw inspiration with my piece in a element where a girl becomes overly obsessed with talking to this “mystery man” and forgets all efforts to focus on school anymore.

I used Chat GPT as a filler tool when I needed it. I knew what I wanted the story to be primarily about but I used it for plugin when it came to thinking of a name, continuing certain parts to keep the story flowing as well as the ending. The ending was the hardest for me, 500 words came by fast for me. And making sure the story ended on a good note was a challenge. But I figured leaving it as an open ending where the reader can kind of guess how the story ends, was the best way to go about it.

This was an interesting and fun creative project I’ve done in a while. Like I said, 500 words came by fast for me and that was definitely the most challenging part.

The Murder of the Muse

After reading this weeks reads, my thoughts on AI technology once again are deteriorating. While it is here and doesn’t seem to slow down a bit, I was trying to remain on the positive side of the spectrum with this new profound way of using technology. But after reading the articles this weekend, I realized that AI is killing a lot more than just future academic writers. It’s killing the muse. Which is probably pretty obvious but when you’re not thinking about it, that can catch you off guard.

The world is already structured to feel like a horse race. People often times forget there is enough seats at the table for everybody. But I wonder how AI will further effect this horse race. In cooperate world and even in the music industry, if the environment is already so dishonest, will AI only make it worse? And if it does then what would even be the point anymore. What would be the point of listening to music, looking at art, reading books, or even going to school.

It’s human nature that we can tend to be a little lazy and enjoy relying on something that is fast and easy, We do this daily, even before AI existed. I rely on the Starbucks app to order my coffee beforehand making my way to the actual coffee shop. I like things to be quick and easy as well. It’s embedded in us a little bit. But I think with full (free) access to AI systems will really rob us of our creativeness and our muse, one of the few last things that separate us from these AI tools. Once we let that happen, then what’s the point anymore? We loose our value and what makes us important. Once a tool can create almost everything for us, then there will be no point in being creative and honest or even having a muse at all.

Workshop Reflection

The workshop that was held last class on Thursday was extremely helpful and insightful. At first I was a bit confused about the overall idea of the final class project and what was expected from me but after spending an hour on zoom, I definitely have a better idea now. The examples were extremely helpful and also sparked some (maybe) a few creative ideas for myself when it comes to writing my piece.

One of the ways I was confused beforehand was the way we needed to implement Chat GPT within our writing process. But after Thursday’s class breakout rooms it is very clear how we should being using AI as an aid or a filler. Therefore I’m not so scared now but rather a little more at ease that it is too1. implemented as a source rather than an actual co-writer.

Here are a few of my ideas of the direction I would like to go with for my piece;

  1. The never ending essay: a student uses Chat GPT to cheat out of writing an essay. The system crashes and begins to write the longest paper in history. He can’t use his computer for anything or make it stop. His professor gets the google doc essay constantly as the AI writes the essay all day and night.
  2. The Good Teacher? : A teacher looses her own sense of identity and job culture as she relies on Teacher Bot to help her with everything in class management to grading. But that all changes and her real “skills” come to the test when she gets her yearly observation from the principal.
  3. The Serial AI Dater: Instead of joining the real world and making real connections, Gabe relies on an AI for dating. He spends his weekends filter different AI chats to talk with different “types of women” all while he falls for one AI chat, but he has a hard time accepting that AI can’t love him back.

Andele andele mami, A.I, A.I 

*Nelly song reference*

The article “How A.I. Will Drive the Future of Work” discusses how artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly transforming the workplace and will continue to do so in the future. The author argues that AI will not only replace jobs, but also create new opportunities for workers. One of the main benefits of AI is its ability to automate routine tasks, freeing up time for workers to focus on more creative and strategic work. AI can also assist workers in decision-making, providing data-driven insights that humans may not be able to identify on their own. The article “Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humans” explores the potential impact of AI on human society, raising both opportunities and concerns. The author argues that AI has the potential to revolutionize fields such as healthcare, transportation, and education, but that its implementation must be carefully considered. One of the main benefits of AI is its ability to process and analyze large amounts of data quickly and accurately. This could lead to significant advancements in healthcare, such as the development of personalized medicine and the ability to detect diseases at an early stage. In transportation, AI could lead to safer and more efficient modes of transportation, such as self-driving cars.

Suggestions that the articles make had resonated with me. I agree that we as humans in order too combat this, workers need to focus on developing skills that are difficult for AI to replicate, such as emotional intelligence, critical thinking, and problem-solving. This keeps us around, gives us more of a purpose. I’m not sure why we would have to put more effort to show that we as humans are needed compare to a machine, but hey, welcome to 2023 I guess.

I think it’s scary of how advanced AI has become and the possibility of how much more advanced it can get. But every individual has purpose and I don’t fully think we are replaceable. But it is a scary thought.

Art In The Name Of AI

The two articles I chose to read this week went hand in hand. They both explored the art side of the AI world. The article, “What do AI image generators mean for visual artists and the rest of us?” sort of set up the scene for us. Basically AI is able to create realistic images like below

You can check out that article here:

By the way when I first saw that picture on Twitter I thought it was real and I was supportive as one would be. But also shocked that the Pope would put an outfit like this together. But that’s besides the point. The article explores the idea of how AI is able to generate images like this and what that means for us. The article also raises concerns about the potential consequences of relying on AI for artistic production, such as the displacement of human artists and the potential for bias or unethical use of the technology. The article highlights the need for ongoing dialogue and ethical considerations around the use of AI in the arts, and the importance of preserving the human element in artistic creation.

But I kept reading, and the other article I read was “Madeleine: Poetry and Art of an Artificial Intelligence.” The article describes the creation of a poem by an artificial intelligence (AI) named Madeleine. The poem was created using a neural network, which analyzed a large corpus of poetry to generate its own unique piece. The article also includes a visualization of the poem in the form of an art installation, which features a projected image of the poem accompanied by ambient music. So now AI is not only able to create a five page paper for you, it can also do your art project? AI is able to produce creative works which now raises the question about the nature of artistic expression and the role of technology in the arts.

I’ve said this countless times before but this is getting scary. Literally AI is not letting us having anything. Now it’s creative too?! I just feel like now it is taking everything special that we individually offer and almost corrupting it. It will come to a point where we won’t feel the need to express and offer our talents, because AI will show us that it can do it “better.”

‘Working 9-5’ But Not Making A Living

In the article, The Exploited Labor Behind Artificial Intelligence sheds light on the hidden labor that is involved in the development of artificial intelligence (AI). The article explores the labor practices of the global tech industry and highlights the exploitative conditions that many workers face.

The article argues that AI technologies rely on a complex network of human labor, including data labeling, programming, and algorithm development. However, many of the workers who perform these tasks are underpaid, overworked, and subjected to poor working conditions. Which honestly, seems to be nothing new when fast paced systems (or jobs) like these are created. The exploitation of these workers is enabled by the global supply chains and outsourcing practices of the tech industry, which prioritize cost-cutting and profit-making over workers’ rights and welfare.

After the readings, I can definitely say that this is giving Apple, Fashion Nova, and many other big companies that exploit their workers. Now we can officially add AI to that mix. There definitely needs to be greater attention and a continued conversation on this arising issue that sees no end in sight. We need all the attention we can get for human rights and the working conditions of the labor force that underpins the development of AI technologies. Because this will only continue and potentially get worse. But to be honest just like many other bigger companies the only end to this issue is bringing more awareness and protests and even stake-holding approach to involve government, industries, and organizations to help promote ethical and sustainable practices in the tech industry as well as in other industries.

✦ Unwillingly in our ChatGPT Era ✦

The quote goes, if you can’t beat them, join them. This is us (educators and everyone else against AI systems) with our silent war of this ongoing funny business. But ironically now, we need to get down to business and discuss this arrising issue.

In the article, How Should Schools Respond to ChatGPT by Katherine Schulten, she gives a special shoutout to Kevin Roose. He argues that schools should consider the technology (ChatGPT) as a teaching aid. Obviously, less like the enemy. While it can be hard to find that in-between balance once you already hate something, Roose has a point. AI systems can be a good tool to give feedback and even teaching tools for teachers to use in their classroom. A teacher can demonstrate how a generic and boring essay is suppose too look like. Or better yet, how students should write their essays for state tests. I can see that being a semi positive approach. New York has blocked access for students to be able to use ChatGPT but that won’t stop them from using it when they are home, unfortunately.

In Katherine Schulten’s other article with the New York Times, Lesson Plan: Teaching and Learning in the Era of ChatGPT she further dives in just how this tool can be used in the classroom. She shares how to play with the tool, giving it a prompt, then having the students analyze it. Open the discussion in the classroom on the overall prompt, opinions, and thoughts. While like I mentioned before, that can be helpful. I think this can actually be really helpful in a school environment. Within the state and all the state testing, it’s almost feels like their is that pressure to get rid of the students voice in order to generate more essays that are “academically correct.” This tool can be helpful to aid students on writing those essays for their SAT’s and so on and so forth.

In my opinion, if we approach ChatGPT for what it is, which is basic. Maybe students won’t be as intrigued or maybe they will be. But with new systems vast approaching, if you can’t beat them, might as well join them.

Becoming A Writer & Using Your Own Voice

I don’t think voice in writing is found until it is written. Every article, book, or blog you read all come from a distinct voice, one that’s unique. In my own collection of books, I can tell apart them many different voices from different authors. I can instantly tell the difference between an author like Colleen Hoover (who sometimes drives me crazy with her writing) as compared to an author like Sylvia Path. And honestly, at this point or even early on, if you had to make me guess who wrote what, I would be able to tell. Voice is kind of what sets all writers apart. Because yes, there are a gazillion writers in the world, but there are not gazillion of the same voices. And I think that already comes naturally, not something that needs much thought.

“Based on 20 checked articles, Originality was able to identify GPT-3 and GPT-3.5 content with almost 100% accuracy. When taking ChatGPT-generated content, accuracy drops to 90% at its lowest detection rate.”

This is important, mainly for students. English (and I hate to say it) it’s the most hated subject for many children in their academic career. I hear it all the time. ChatGPT is the leading gateway for students to avoid their hate and find an easy route. But if Originality can detect, this is helpful. Kids aren’t too interested in finding their voice in writing when they are younger. They care about getting a decent grade and getting the assignment over with. And to be honest, it’s kind of hard to change that mindset. But I do believe that the more you do something, the more you do tend to like it, or at least not hate it as much anymore. I speak from experience with green tea. Kids are going to do whatever it takes and they will find whatever they can use to get out of doing “hard work” thus, this makes it hard for educators or even bosses. But AI lacks that human voice, the most primal part to writing and even reading. Maybe you can detect it, or maybe you can’t but at least a tool like Originality was created in order to compact the loss of original writers in entirely.

Is AI a friend or foe?

It’s hard to come with a conclusion whether or not AI systems are a friend or foe for us. But I do believe that there are more cons than pros. Especially in the education field, and many jobs that survive and utilize technology on the day to day basis. In my last blog post, it’s clear that I have some strong view points on AI replacing humans in jobs. But it can also replace human writers. It’s evident, that children will do and use whatever they have access to in order not to have to physically do any work themselves. It went from getting a friend to do a paper to now having AI write your paper. Yes, while I do agree with the article, “Free AI Writing Tools Can Write Essays In Minutes. What Does That Mean For Teachers?” I also don’t agree with it. Yes, teachers can structure assignments that AI writing models can’t mimic currently, but that doesn’t mean for long. In the other article, “5 Reasons Why AI Is A Threat To Writers,” they mention that AI has already reached human-level writing, and AI can write about virtually everything. So while yes, AI can’t mimic class assignments and responses to other students, that mainly means that AI can’t be used for in class assignments. What about outer class assignments? Like research papers? I feel like in an education environment, the only way to prevent children from not using the computer applications are by only doing in class assignments. So what does that mean for homework and other assignments with due dates? Yes, teachers can implement that using AI is a form of cheating, but kids still cheat regardless, and they will continue to do so, now it’s even easier than ever to cheat.

In the other article “Technology Makes Us More Human,” I see the points and argument that the author mentions. She argues that improvement through technology is how humanity most effectively makes progress. Also how software, globally, creates new opportunities to empower people at scale. She also states that technology is the only thing that makes us, us. Which to a degree, I do agree. But I also don’t. I feel like when the types of things are being created and utilized the only real way to go about it, is to see how they play out. Much how people had to watch it pan out when the internet was first created, and how we had to see how electric cars will play out. We can’t stop things from being created but we can see how they pan out and how we can utilize them in our day to day. I guess in a way, taking it with a grain of salt.