Mark Riedl and Brian Magerko

Georgia Tech's Mark Riedl and Brian Magerko join Political Rewind to explain artificial intelligence.

Credit: Georgia Institute of Technology

The panel

Brian Magerko, Professor of Digital Media, Director of Graduate Studies in Digital Media, Head, Expressive Machinery Lab

Mark Riedl, Professor, School of Interactive Computing, Associate Director, Georgia Tech Machine Learning Center


The breakdown

1. What is an AI?

  • Georgia Tech's own Jill Watson, a chatbot, was rolled out as an "AI teaching assistant," meant to help students with questions about specific courses.
  • AI, or artificial intelligence, consumes large amounts of data, recognizes patterns, and can help humans sort through the concepts it consumed.
  • Although they may seem all-knowing, AI don't understand concepts like humans do; they recognize patterns. They also are limited in what they "understand" by what humans provide it.
  • More recently, large language models process large amounts of text and can try to predict what you're typing, like autocorrect.

LISTEN: Magerko and Riedl on neural networks.

2. Where is AI going?

LISTEN: Mark Riedl on AI development.

3. How much do AI understand?

  • Several news stories feature people interacting with chatbots and AI like they're a fellow human being. It's important to note that AI are not capable of feeling, but instead respond to prompts following patterns they recognize online.
  • Tests with early AI, like ELIZA, showed humans can show a strong empathy for inanimate objects that respond with human-like emotion.

LISTEN: Brian Magerko on technology literacy.

4. How do chatbots make creative works?

  • While you can ask a chatbot to write song lyrics in the style of your favorite artist, you'll quickly find they don't write in the same tone you might expect. Instead, they might follow a pattern or format for what a song looks like, filling in lyrics that follow the topic.
  • AI can also create visual works, but they might not look right to the human eye.

LISTEN: Brian Magerko on creative works.

5. What's the future for AI?

  • Mark Riedl theorizes models will stay small and cheap, but they could do any number of tasks.
  • Brian Magerko says it will revolutionize how educators teach and learn from their students.


Thursday on Political Rewind: In conversation with the Rev. Dr. Joanna Adams.