Generative AI Tufts Highlights


Generative AI and AI in general has been all over the news of late. It certainly is making an impact on the world.

Below are some highlights and news stories from Tufts that you might find interesting as you begin to explore the use of generative AI in your work and personal life. 

AI courses in Universities

Will Tufts follow in other universities’ footsteps with an AI major? | Tufts Daily - May 15, 2024

In February, the University of Pennsylvania announced it will begin offering an artificial intelligence major, open for enrollment in fall 2024. The major will be offered through Penn’s School of Engineering. Several other universities have announced AI-specific degree programs in recent years; MIT began offering one in fall 2022 and Carnegie Mellon has had one since fall 2018. Although Tufts computer science students have the option of focusing their studies on AI, Tufts currently does not offer an AI-specific degree program, but that could change in the future, according to Kyongbum Lee, dean of the School of Engineering. When developing new AI-based courses, he hopes to focus on ethics in computing and “how to make AI curriculum more accessible” to all students, rather than just those pursuing math-based degrees.

Students and faculty in the Department of Computer Science suggest directions for Tufts’ artificial intelligence offerings. Learn more.

Digital Planet AI

Getting Real About AI for the Bottom-of-the-Pyramid: Improving the Economic Outcomes of Smallholder Farmers in Africa | Fletcher Digital Planet - May 2024

Sub-Saharan Africa’s agriculture, dominated by smallholders, struggles with low productivity. AI tools like Crop AI offer scalable solutions, potentially generating $6.1 billion in revenue, impacting millions of farmers, and advancing education, aligning with sustainable development goals. Learn more.

AI chatbot

The Chatbot in the Classroom  | TuftsNow - March 2024

They ‘hallucinate,’ or make stuff up, quite a bit. They don’t ‘know’ things so much as they’re good at sounding like someone who does.”

Those are just some of the drawbacks of having a conversation with a large language model such as ChatGPT, said Gregory Marton, who teaches a course at the ExCollege called Who Wrote This? ChatGPT, LLMs, and the Future of Learning. Yet Marton is optimistic about the ways such AI models, even with their flaws, can be used in higher education.

Faculty test out when AI can make learning more effective, and when it gets in the way. Learn more.

AI overview

A Quick Primer on AI | TTS Security Blog - February 2024

It seems like everything comes with a fancy “AI” feature these days. Gary Weingarden, Privacy Office and Director of IT Security, get lots of questions! This post will explain some of the basics; later we’ll explore some of the risks, challenges, and really cool features of AI and related systems.

AI has been around for a long time, and ChatGPT and other Generative AI are only the most recent, trendy example. A popular definition of AI is: a computer system “that can perform tasks typically requiring human intelligence, such as problem-solving, decision-making, language understanding, and perception.” There are more elaborate definitions, and definitions that are more technical (see discussion of Russell and Norvig), but AI is a broad category that, depending on the definition can include everything from the Antikythera mechanism, to an ATM, to Google’s autocomplete, to Deep Blue (which defeated the chess world champion, Garry Kasparov back in 1997). Frankly, the concept AI is often unhelpful because how much it covers. Learn more.

Uses for ChatGPT

How to Get the Best Results from ChatGPT | TuftsNow - July 2023

ChatGPT has exploded in popularity, and people are using it to write articles and essaysgenerate marketing copy and computer code, or simply as a learning or research tool. However, most people don’t understand how it works or what it can do, so they are either not happy with its results or not using it in a way that can draw out its best capabilities. Start by understanding how it works and then learning from your interactions with it, says James Intriligator, a human factors researcher at Tufts. Learn more.

ChatGPT unmasked Tufts Daily

ChatGPT unmasked at the intersection of computer science and philosophy | Tufts Daily - March 2023

In November 2022, OpenAI launched ChatGPT, a new chatbot powered by artificial intelligence. Users can input questions and ChatGPT will provide specific answers based on both advanced internet data collected through September 2021 and the content of the user’s conversation with it.

As of February 2023, it’s safe to say ChatGPT is everywhere. Learn more.