CLEVELAND, Miss. — Delta State University faculty members will hold a seminar titled Artificial Intelligence – What You Need to Know September 26 at 6 p.m. in the recital hall of the Bologna Performing Arts Center to discuss the ramifications of the advances in artificial intelligence over recent years. The seminar is being organized by Dr. James Gerald, Dean of Graduate Studies. Coordinating the panel discussion will be Dr. David Hebert, interim director of the Ford Center for Teaching and Learning.
Panelists for the seminar include Dr. Brian Becker (history), Dr. Catherine Putnam (mathematics), Korkut Akacik (art), Dr. Jon Westfall (psychology), and Dr. Syed Raza (computer information systems). The event is open to faculty, staff, students, and the public.
Gerald said, “Faculty at Delta State have been exploring what Chat GPT and other generative artificial intelligence packages mean for higher education and beyond. A group of faculty from the arts, humanities, sciences, and business will hold an open forum on their findings and expectations for the future. You will hear a range of opinions from those resisting the use of AI on campus to those leaning into the new technology.”
In addition to his work in psychology, Westfall has also been in information technology for 30 years, starting in programming and systems administration, and transitioning to writing and popular press venues. He said that as a psychology professor with a background in information technology, he finds that while the promise of A.I. is still largely unfulfilled, we cannot ignore the impact it is having in industry and the need for students to be educated on its proper uses.
Westfall said, “At the same time, many will see it as a shortcut that takes the place of rigorous work, to their detriment in the classroom. My hope for the panel is that it will raise the level of discourse on the subject away from one-sided views that either praise the technology and push its use or admonish it and seek to ban it at institutions of higher learning. We cannot stop A.I. and Large Language Models (LLMs) from entering our classrooms and workplaces – but we can thoughtfully consider it now, and its long-term effects.”