All posts by InnovativeStudentBlog2023

Finale: Microfiction Story & Retrospective


Jane Michaels has a chemistry report to finish by Sunday and very little time to read through the materials needed to write it. Note taking takes up too much time and she has trouble absorbing the information. Fortunately, she has ReaderMind2060 to help her out.

“ReaderMind, please read this pdf for me and summarize please,” she asks. “The actual paragraphs, too. Not the side details or the page links.”

And as she sits back in her chair and closes her eyes, the artificial reader beings reading her homework texts aloud. As the ai reader reads for her, it breaks down the information in concise detail and even summarizes the long paragraph and pages for her. She can relax much easier now. It’s so much simpler to read through these readings than to traditionally read through the pdfs herself. She doesn’t have to worry about being distracted or taking over two hours to read everything properly in order to process the material.

ReaderMind2060 has been around since Victor Mason developed his own AI-powered reading application. Not only does it read information aloud, but it breaks down the meaning in deep detail and summarizes them for the reader. Good thing for Jane too, because she really needs this miracle right now.

The ReaderMind 2060 was actually very expensive to get. Although it has made huge leaps in the field of pedagogy, the interface needs to be bought first. Jane went through her entire pre-college years reading through her texts in the traditional way, only rarely getting the chance to read them through another ai reader interface, although sometimes she was lucky enough to come across an audio version of her readings.

But now, with ReaderMind 2060, she can breeze through her assignments and have enjoy other things like cooking, exercising, or drawing. It’s like having a personal assistant who is always ready to help her with her academic tasks. She’s even thinking of using ReaderMind 2060 for her leisure reading too. Although, she does wonder if she should dial back on her use of ReaderMind 2060 a little bit. Even though she hated reading before the AI tool, it did at least force her to closely engage with the material and she did in fact learn ideas and practice challenging them.

Suddenly, in the middle of the reading for her chemistry report, the AI reader’s voice began to glitch and stutter. At first, it seems to be just a temporary glitch, but as Jane listens, the AI reader begins skipping entire paragraphs and mixing up the information it should be summarizing.

“You gotta be kidding me,” Jane says with worry. She resets the system by turning it off and turning it back on. However, the AI keeps glitching, now reading everything backward from where it left off.

“Oh my god,” Jane groans. She can’t deal with this now, not after almost failing her classes last semester. The deadline for this report is in a week and she has other important assignments to work on. She attempts to contact the company’s customer service, but they aren’t responsive. She has to read through all of these pages herself without the automated voice processor.

“I can’t finish in time.” If she doesn’t finish reading all of these readings today, then she won’t finish her report in time. Jane already suffered a hit to her GPA last semester and her confidence in her academic abilities shattered. She found it difficult to enjoy reading science books for leisure like she used to.

As she sits in her desk and wallows over the texts that she struggles to process properly, she thinks of something Victor Mason said in an interview about his journey to creating the ReaderMind. He said that back when he was using the old Reader ai tool in college, he gradually relied on the tool much more than other reading methods. But he realized that he was becoming detached from his lessons, that he was no longer challenging the ideas he was reading about or questioning anything. He slowly failed to properly engage with the material in his classes and it stifled his academic and intellectual growth as a student.

Victor had to step back and reassess his problematic dependence on technology for reading. While audio reading was a necessity for most people, this was different. The AI tool, while helpful in some ways, it couldn’t replace the critical thinking and analysis skills that focused reading gave way too.

Jane sighs and resigns herself to reading the pdfs with her own eyes and mind, pulling out her notebook and pen from her backpack. While she knows that reading all the materials for class is a problem, she can’t keep relying on an ai to summarize and take notes for her, since her problem is the lack of full engagement with the class material. ReaderMind2060 is meant to be used responsibly and shouldn’t replace active note taking and critical thinking, but rather be used in conjunction with it. Jane decides to get help with reading this and taking notes instead and resolves to start reading and taking notes on her class materials earlier from now on.

When writing my microfiction story I was hit with the difficulties of staying at the 500 word limit. When I got a wind of inspiration with he story I wrote I began to get ahead of myself. Using ChatGPT, I prompted the ai to write a short story about a college student using ai to complete his readings for homework. In the automated synopsis, Victor began using an ai reading tool to get through all of the readings, but found that he was detached from his lessons and was no longer questioning anything he learned or challenging ideas. He realized that the ai reading tech couldn’t replace the critical thinking and analysis abilities that comes from engaged reading. He resolved to only use the reading tool when necessary, and learned to engage with the class material and challenge and question the ideas in the texts, finding a perfect balance between traditional learning methods and technological processing methods.

With the follow up prompts, I asked ChatGPT to continue the story. Victor had gone on to become an entrepreneurial figure in educational technology who developed AI-powered tools and platforms to aid students in learning more efficiently. From that follow up I had ChatGPT write a sequel story, where it came up with the character Jane as a college student struggling to read through her homework as well. This character’s story ended up being the main basis for my microfiction. The differences between my story and ChatGPT’s automated words are that Jane is the only character in my microfiction, with Victor being spoken of rather than being in any of the scenes himself.

The microfiction story was my own creation, but with the use of ChatGPT I brainstormed the idea of the ReaderMind 2060 malfunction and leaving Jane in a state of having to rely on her own traditional studying methods to get through her homework instead. ChatGPT also helped me write the paragraph where Jane thinks about the various activities she could do while using the reading ai to complete her readings. It also gave me the idea for her trying to contact the manufacturers for assistance.

For Example, here’s the version I whipped up using SudoWrite that was less than 500 words, with the last paragraph not being altered or automated by SudoWrite or ChatGPT at all:

Jane Michaels needs to finish a chemistry report by Sunday and is short on time. Fortunately, she has ReaderMind2060 to help her out. She asks the AI reader to read and summarize her homework materials and relaxes as it reads aloud and breaks down the information for her. Reading through the PDFs with ReaderMind2060 is faster than traditionally reading and she can avoid distraction and save time.

ReaderMind2060 has been around since Victor Mason developed his AI-powered reading application. It reads aloud, breaks down meaning and summarizes, making it invaluable to Jane. Though expensive to buy, she had only read her texts traditionally before college, rarely coming across audio versions.

ReaderMind 2060 enables Jane to breeze through her assignments and have time for other activities. She even considers using it for leisure reading, though she wonders if dialing back will help her better engage with the material. Suddenly, while reading another chemistry text page, the AI’s voice began to glitch and flicker in and out. Jane resets the system but it continued to glitch, now reading everything backward. “You gotta be kidding me,” she said with worry.

She attempts to contact the company’s customer service, but they aren’t responsive. She has to read through all of these pages herself without the automated voice processor. Jane groans. She has a week to finish her report and other assignments, but customer service isn’t helping. She has to read through the texts without the automated voice processor—and if she doesn’t finish today, she won’t finish in time and her GPA faces another hit like last semester. Her confidence shattered after almost failing last semester and she even struggles to enjoy science books for leisure like she used to.

Thinking of Victor Mason’s experience with the old Reader ai tool, she realizes that relying on it too much can cause detachment from lessons and stifle academic growth.

Jane sighs and resigns herself to reading the pdfs with her own eyes and mind, pulling out her notebook and pen from her backpack. While she knows that reading all the materials for class is a problem, she can’t keep relying on an ai to summarize and take notes for her, since her problem is the lack of full engagement with the class material. ReaderMind2060 is meant to be used responsibly and shouldn’t replace active note taking and critical thinking, but rather be used in conjunction with it. Jane decides to get help with reading this and taking notes instead and resolves to start reading and taking notes on her class materials earlier from now on.

The artificial assembly of words and lore

When it comes to the progress I’ve made on my microfiction I’d say that it is dragging along. The whole thing about writing a story using AI is that most of it is going to come from the AI itself. Since I am writing for the sake of using AI as a partner I expect to just write prompts and be given an automated group of paragraphs to write off of.

At least that’s one way of looking at it. So far I have a few prompts that I worked on with SudoWrite. I have no dialogue so far, but I plan on having it as soon as possible.

In the meantime, I can talk about the three readings from this week’s pathfinder. This week’s pathfinder’s theme is all about free speech and free expression. I feel this theme with Censoring the technologies of free expression, as while reading I thought about the affects that AI systems such as DALL-E 2 would have on free expression and personal likeness. I’ve long since been an avid opposer of using technology to create deepfake of people and spread political misinformation. The use of online technology for these unethical purposes is already at an all time high. I do agree that we shouldn’t let our fears of the dreaded stifle our imaginations when it comes to the use of future technology.

The two readings about Nick Cave place a focus on personal expression. With the three reading put into conjunction, the whole focus on free expression is connected to the rise in AI. The threat it poses to genuine free expression in spit of its possible benefits is something important to pay attention to. Especially when reading about an artist like Nick Cave, it quickly becomes clear that AI cannot replicate free expression and muddies the public understanding of what free speech is.

Microfiction workshop

My last workshop was interesting. I’ve never used ChatGPT or any other AI writing applications to write for me before this class. I never thought to do so, I always wrote my own stuff. SO, last workshop was entertaining, because most of what was written this time around was automated for me. I just put in a prompt for the AI and there it went, writing a whole synopsis for the resulting short story.

SudoWrite was interesting to use. As someone who was using it for the first time, I was surprised by how useful it actually is. Instead of just making stories up for you, it can actually give suggestions on how to fix your work, make your writing show instead of tell, expanding on your text, clarifying words, overall making your work flow better.

ChatGPT is still unnerving to me. It’s capable of coming up with all of these great stories and scripts by itself despite all of its flaws, and it frustrates me because it takes me forever to create something that decent, but this non-entity can do it within less than a minute.

I expect my final speculative microfiction project to be fun and eye-opening. I want to gain a new perspective when it comes to writing. I want to learn what AI can really do with writing, and then I want to remind myself that I should be able to do better than a non-entity when it comes to writing fiction. I am already a fiction author. I want to become an officially published fiction author, and I don’t want AI to be better than real people at producing well-crafted works. I expect myself to be writing my own works in full force by the end of this project, without the use of AI applications.

AI stores, intelligence anxieties, and abiotic labor

Work, capital labor, is a longtime staple of our current society. Everyone has to participate in it at some point in their early adulthood in order to survive. Every time we walk into our stores we are served by living people working as store employees whose whole purpose is to make our customer experience pleasant and helpful. Every time we send in our help requests to an assistant service we expect a human to help us we our problems. And every time we click on a page we expect our future recommendations to be catered to our actual interests.

However, the reality is not so certain with the rise of Artificial Intelligence in the occupational field. Back in September 2018, the widely-relied on company known as Amazon opened its first AI-manufactured store called Amazon Go. The store’s basic functions have people walk in and swipe their phone on the entrance scanner. Their whole shopping experience is handled by a computer algorithm, picking up items that are then added automatically to their virtual cart. They can just leave and their purchases are virtually charged. There are no in-person attendants to move the transactions along.

This idea is bad for many reasons, one of which is the potential for real human workers to lose their jobs. People have made complaints before about self-driving cars and ai replacement, but with the aforementioned example of an artificial store system, this reality is not that far away from our lives. Dependence on artificial intelligence to resolve our problems and monitor our transactions is also a big problem. People’s 24/7 reliance on artificial algorithms to do their jobs for them can lead to their self-sufficiency depleting greatly. People already rely on the first social media posts that pop up on their feed for important societal information. Politics, Business, Education, Celebrities, Crimes, Finances, Economics. From personal experience, relying on the algorithm to give you the right information without self-reliability is a dangerous decision to make. The intellectual damage that this does to society has lead to constant dialogue ramifications; Dangerous ideologies being perpetuated, people with slumbering violent desires being led to act upon them and cause harm to multiple communities, people looking for safety within an online space getting harassed and abused by masses of cyberbullies and parasocial fanbases, and just everyday conversations being diluted by the great loss of reading comprehension and critical thinking skills to the reliance on artificial intelligence’s algorithms.

Ultimately, this is a bad idea. The technology we have today is not developed and monitored properly to implement a concept like Amazon Go ethically. I don’t think that this will ever be ethical to implement, especially because Amazon isn’t known for hosting the most humane work environments worldwide. Also, other job stealing ai implementations such as self-driving cars and trucks are just down right horrendous overall. That much doesn’t need any explanations.

Artificial Insincerity

Artificial Intelligence is incapable of being sincere. It doesn’t share the neural activity that humans do and cannot understand any of the things it writes. Writing poetry is one of the most insincere activities it can do, since it isn’t an actual being capable of experiencing mental development. Inner experience is something that computer algorithms fail time and time again to emulate, and no amount of “good” artificial writing can make up for that fact. Some people will think that a computer or the internet is more complex than a frog’s brain, but will admit that the frog is more likely to have inner experience.

Artificial Insincerity is not restricted to just words and writing. Imagery, art, and photography are also at risk of being tampered with. The power that ai softwares have to make not only make an image, but also emulate the feeling of it being man-made, is a valid concern. In the past year alone I have seen many online images that were created by an ai. They never looked good, in all honesty it was obvious from the jump that a person did not make the images. But it got even worse when I started seeing images of realistic people that turned out to be the work of ai. When ai-produced realistic images begin to eb used in place of real people, specifically in the context of using ai images of black people or real black people, it becomes a problem that needs to confronted as quickly as possible. Because when these issues arise, it sparks a series of questions about the ethics of dishonest imagery credibility.

Unnecessary Troubles

Sometimes I wonder, do we even need all these AI systems in the first place? All the expanded AI systems have done is cause unnecessary trouble for the job market, multiple demographics of people, and academic settings in the past couple of years or more. In a world where workers are already treated as expendable, the greater use of Artificial Intelligence has posed so many harmful effects to communities for decades now. Survelliance is at an all time high, with Joy Buolamwini demonstrating in a 2017 TED talk how police use artificial intelligence systems to scan people’s faces in order to prosecute criminals. But she points out that racism is the primary motive and result of this, because it was only black people whose faces were recognized by the facial recognition software. Even before that, she shows that facial recognition outside of law enforcement does not recognize black faces. This goes to show that the implementation of Artificial Intelligence in the present time has not been beneficial for many people.

Even now in 2023, the circumstances behind AI have not improved. Laborers have been exploited for far too long now. These AI systems are fueled by the underpaid efforts of impoverished workers whose pay are only $1.46 per hour. much less than even I have made in the past, and I never even made $15 per hour. The reason why we don’t see content even worse then the ones already on social media is because of these workers having to view these unethical and inhumane videos and flag them as inappropriate. But they don’t get any compensation. They are left traumatized, disheartened, depressed, and haunted by the things they need to watch and see uncensored for the sake of properly keeping the content off of our media feeds. And the working conditions that force them to make these split decisions in less than a minute, according to this linked article, is so inhumane.

Schooling with Chat GPT

So, I used Chat GPT a few times in the last two weeks to test it out and see what its capabilities are. At first glance, it seemed like it was capable of producing some decent looking material. It was capable of mimicking human writing enough to make some bare minimum short stories. I had it produce episode scripts of known television shows and some original short stories of its own. But while it was capable of at least making some decent episode synopses, it quickly became clear to me that Chat GPT is the worst possible option for a pedagogical tool.

Chat GPT should not be allowed to be used in schools. Obviously, students shouldn’t use it to cheat, but I’m going to go beyond that point. When reading NYT article How Should Schools Respond to ChatGPT? by Katherine Schulten, I really thought about how ChatGPT merely existing has been causing so much worry for school staff and faculty. The article quotes Don’t Ban ChatGPT in Schools. Teach With It. by Kevin Roose in order to start a series of questions for student readers to answer. Kevin’s perspective is that ChatGPT shouldn’t be banned in schools but instead should be taught in classes to inspire student creativity and prepare students to work with AI as adults. While I can see where his perspective is coming from, I honestly do not see the pros outweighing the cons.

Last week, during the last pathfinder presentation we all entered poem prompts into Chat GPT and presented the results. While most were fairly harmless, their was the one about the tragic imperialism and occupation of Palestinians by Israel. Chat GPT was able to produce a poem that disconcertingly mimicked an emotional writing prose. The poem was heartful, the writing was strong, and the structure was actually great.

This is a disturbing issue.

ChatGPT being able to mimic human writing so well is one thing. But for it to produce such a realistic and motivating poem about real-life imperialism and occupation and ethnic-cleansing, for artificial intelligence to be the one producing a poem that could be passed off as an original work, is so unethical and disrespectful. ChatGPT making great and likeable material is its own discourse. ChatGPT mimicking human tragedy like this presents a potentially exploitative future in writing if AI writing is ever allowed to be passed as original.

Writing Aspects: Response to Pathfinders of this week

This was an interesting bunch of articles to read. The first thing I want to talk about is Lorrie Moore’s ‘How to Become a Writer Or, Have You Earned This Cliché?’. This article was amazing to read. It fully shows a story of struggle in personal desires. What leads someone to want to write? Most people probably remember wanting to write since the age of 10 or something. I know I have.

The reason why I am talking about this article specifically is because it’s the one that stood out to me the most. This one tells a engaging story from someone’s life. I feel like I can connect to this article compared to the others. Lorrie’s story strongly resonates with me because I have also been in similar situations regarding my career path changes. Although I have never changed from a different major to creative writing, I have been given random recommendations for other career choices, and I have found myself discouraged in my classes. Just like Lorrie, I have also had to endure the same disappointed criticisms every single time I presented my works in class.

It also says a lot when she explains how her multiple dates at the end all say and do the same thing when she tells them about her writing journey. It’s just like when I tell people that I plan on becoming a writer. It feels like I when get asked the same exact questions and I only have the same exact answers to give.

What the boom in AI writing does for human pedagogy

This weeks current pathfinders are all about the possible dangers and benefits of Artificial Intelligence. The specifics of this blog post is focused on the writing aspect of AI, specifically on what the efficiency of AI writing means for human writers. In Alberto Romero’s 5 Reasons Why AI is a Threat to Writers, he describes the use in GPT-3 as an Artificial writing tool. He demonstrates the unnerving use of AI in order to write whole essays and papers, and it actually shows the possible dangers of AI writing.

In the article, he shows an example of GPT-3 being used to write a whole article about oppositions of gay marriage. He notes that AI has language forming down yet cannot grasp the context of the language it writes. The fact that the AI was able to craft such a paper is definitely intriguing and concerning.

Erik Ofgang’s Free AI Writing Tools Can Write Essays in Minutes. What Does That Mean for Teachers? is also another example of the concerning nature of AI writing. In it, Erik explains that students using AI to write can disrupt the academic honesty of the classroom. “AI (artificial intelligence) writing programs have become good enough that detecting whether a student uses one is often impossible for a teacher. However, teachers can still discuss the technology with their students and explain that using AI writing tools is a serious form of cheating.” Especially since Teachers arrange the structure of assignments and lessons in ways that Artificial Intelligence cannot replicate.

Therefore, it is genuinely concerning that AI writing is booming as of late. We’re all used to the use of AI-generated words, auto-corrections on texts and word documents come to mind. But actually using AI to write whole entire papers and texts can possibly disrupt the traditional and innovative process of human writing. Last week’s pathfinder presentation actually further highlights the importance of human writing skills. Our experiences have been recorded in writing for Millennia, and AI can become such a dishonest way of poisoning this natural phenomenon.

Pathfinder Forum Reflection One

Pathfinder 1’s Trauma Informed Pedagogy and Pathfinder 2’s Theories of Care for Learning in Community are both engaging and innovative looks into the minds of children and how to cultivate their creativity and nurture them through trauma.

The readings are very insightful on the effects that a child’s upbringing can have on who they become in the future. The Passion section of ‘Wired to Create’ really expands upon this idea. The interviews from various famous musicians and artists, to the lesser known children who grew up to write sci-fi and other creative works, this passage is all about passion. It’s shows me the process of gradually nurturing one’s own great desire and main motivations in their lifetime.

I really enjoy the way that the author writes about each person’s child self discovering their passion. It’s not only precious, but it is also described very creatively too. Kaufman and Gregorie tell these people’s story the way that engaging storytellers do.

‘How to Help a Traumatized Child in the Classroom’ by Joyce Dorado and Vicki Zakrzewski is an equally engaging article. This one is more motivational when it comes to children’s development because this one is about nurturing the development of psychologically traumatized children. Children are fragile people since their children, so their childhoods should be filled with the adults protecting them, loving them, nurturing their personalities, teaching them morals and ethics, and all of the other vital aspects to childhood.

“According to the Children’s Defense Fund, one in three African-American boys and one in six Latino males born in 2001 will end up imprisoned sometime in his lifetime. These staggering numbers are tragic beyond words. But in order to change them, we have to change how we perceive the children behind the statistics.” This is a completely true statement, and it’s something that I am not new too, unfortunately. Growing up, I have always read and heard about young black, latine, indigenous children and other children of color being more likely to end up in prison, drop out of school before getting their diplomas, and not being able to find housing or a job among other inhumane circumstances. I always knew that I was lucky, because as a black boy who is also autistic and queer, I easily could’ve became a part of that statistic.

Trauma in childhood is complex and vast and severely difficult to navigate. In this article, I appreciate Joyce’s approach to handling children that need extra care due to their trauma. She makes excellent points about complex trauma. If the trauma response constantly re-ignites in the body over and over again, that child will not get the opportunity to process and recover at all from it. The vinyl record analogy works very well with this too. “Like a needle on a record player, complex trauma wears a groove in the brain. So when something non-threatening happens that reminds us of a traumatic incident, our bodies replay the traumatic reaction—mobilizing us to either run from or fight the threat, while shutting down other systems that help us think and reason. ” The song that is played back over and over again makes the groove in the record difficult to get rid of.

This quote, “When you notice that a child might be having a difficult time, start by asking yourself, “What’s happening here?” rather than “What’s wrong with this child?””, is something that I wish more teachers and adults took into account with children that act out or act “weird” in class. If more teachers were willing to think more about what was happening with or to their students rather than accuse them of misbehaving or treat them like criminals then children would be able to trust more adults with their traumas and fears. But I feel like that’d take the adults properly taking care of their own mental needs and traumas first, since most traumatized kids that don’t end up in prison can also grow up to be in the teacher position. And as Joyce says in the fifth strategy for teachers:

5) Take care of yourself. This actually should be number one! The metaphor of putting on your own oxygen mask first before putting it on the child is very true in this situation.”