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AI Platforms That May Be Useful for Your Job or Your Imagination

AI Platforms That May Be Useful for Your Job or Your Imagination


I attended a session this week at SXSWEdu titled “Automation, Imagination, & the New Way to Work.” Paula Intravaia and Holly Morey were the instructors. Paula is a course designer and instructor at the University of San Diego and co-founder and Managing Partner at Cloud Club Collective. Holly is a program manager in Universal Transitional Kindergarten Programs. She is also a partner in the Cloud Club Collective.

Paula and Holly took the audience through an exercise where we voted on characters from present time and the past to construct an ai-generated conversation with them. The class and instructors ultimately voted to have the conversation between Malcolm X and Beyonce. The instructors used Hello History ai for Malcom X’s responses and ChatGPT for Beyonce’s.

Before the class conducted the exercise, we were introduced to the concept of “prompt engineering.” The instructors credited the idea to Don Norman, a legend in design and professor at the University of San Diego. He is also a co-founder of the Nielsen Norman Group, researchers in user experience design. Ms. Intravaia and Ms. Morey played a video made by Professor Norman in which he downplayed artificial intelligence by leading off with the statement that the word artificial tells you all you need to know. AI is not equivalent to human intelligence and needs humans to guide it. He proceeded to discuss how he used an AI design application to draw pictures for him but had to learn how to instruct the AI to draw the pictures the way he wanted them drawn.

I like the term “prompt engineering” and I think it aptly describes how to use most of the available AI tools. According to our instructors, Professor Norman maintains that there are three primary steps for proper prompt engineering. These are: Preparation, Illumination, and Validation. They interject another step between preparation and illumination which is Incubation and recommended taking a few minutes to relax your mind before submitting the query or prompt to the AI tool.

It’s clear that AI is here to stay and, as Ms. Intravaia and Ms. Morey stated, you might as well figure out how to work with it. I’ve focused on ChatGPT since early January and continue to learn how to use it better through trial and error as well as tips from friends. The session at SXSW made me aware of several other ai tools that educators are using. The following list was copied from a slide presented in the class.

Text-to-Image AI Platforms

Text-to-Video AI Platforms

Text-to-Audio AI Platforms

Text-to-Text AI Platforms

Text-to-Motion AI Platforms

Text-to-Code AI Platforms

Most of the AI Platforms and tools listed are not free. Most have a free trial period but after that, you’re going to have to pay to access them. I didn’t spend much time reviewing each of these tools, but plan to do so in the future. Since most of my work involves generating content, I will probably look at the Text-to-Text platforms first.

I’m sure that the class’s instructors did not provide us with a comprehensive list of available AI tools. Nonetheless, it was great to get a list of more than a dozen available AI tools. I plan to keep this list and add to it as I hear about other available AI tools. Meanwhile, Luddites should take heed and note that AI is not going away. For those of you interested in enhancing your career, it may pay to be familiar with these tools and how to hone your skills at prompt engineering. Good luck!

Wally Boston Dr. Wallace E. Boston was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of American Public University System (APUS) and its parent company, American Public Education, Inc. (APEI) in July 2004. He joined APUS as its Executive Vice President in 2002. In September 2019, Dr. Boston retired as CEO of APEI and retired as APUS President in August 2020. Dr. Boston guided APUS through its successful initial accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association in 2006 and ten-year reaccreditation in 2011. In November 2007, he led APEI to an initial public offering on the NASDAQ Exchange. For four years from 2009 through 2012, APEI was ranked in Forbes' Top 10 list of America's Best Small Public Companies. During his tenure as president, APUS grew to over 85,000 students, 200 degree and certificate programs, and approximately 100,000 alumni. While serving as APEI CEO and APUS President, Dr. Boston was a board member of APEI, APUS, Hondros College of Nursing, and Fidelis, Inc. Dr. Boston was appointed to the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity by the U.S. Secretary of Education in 2019. He also serves as a member of the Board of Advisors of the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA), as a Trustee of The American College of Financial Services, as a member of the board of Our Community Salutes - USA, and as a member and chair of the board of New Horizons Worldwide. He has authored and co-authored papers on the topic of online post-secondary student retention, and is a frequent speaker on the impact of technology on higher education. Dr. Boston is a past Treasurer of the Board of Trustees of the McDonogh School, a private K-12 school in Baltimore. In his career prior to APEI and APUS, Dr. Boston served as either CFO, COO, or CEO of Meridian Healthcare, Manor Healthcare, Neighborcare Pharmacies, and Sun Healthcare Group. Dr. Boston is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Management Accountant, and Chartered Global Management Accountant. He earned an A.B. degree in History from Duke University, an MBA in Marketing and Accounting from Tulane University’s Freeman School of Business Administration, and a Doctorate in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. In 2008, the Board of Trustees of APUS awarded him a Doctorate in Business Administration, honoris causa, and, in April 2017, also bestowed him with the title President Emeritus. In August 2020, the Board of Trustees of APUS appointed him Trustee Emeritus. In November 2020, the Board of Trustees announced that the APUS School of Business would be renamed the Dr. Wallace E Boston School of Business in recognition of Dr. Boston's service to the university. Dr. Boston lives with his family in Austin, Texas.


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