Launches at Canterbury Christ Church University on Thursday 14th September

We have entered a new age of Artificial Intelligence: the age of GenAI.

Universities are drivers of knowledge creation and the development of future knowledge workers. At the launch of our staff guidance on the use of AI, we shared our visions, exploratory work, forthcoming courses, research news and taster workshops in an afternoon of knowledge exchange across the university.

An Educative Approach

Our staff guidance on using GenAI at CCCU is available here:

What is GenAI?

GenAI – or more fully, Generative AI – refers to AIs that generate a new response for each user’s request. The GenAI application that is engaging everyone’s attention is a new AI chatbot which can create a conversation – by ‘chatting’ with the user – in what is argued to be natural (humanlike) language. In this conversation the user ‘prompts’ the chatbot with questions, instructions and chitchat. The AI’s response addresses the question and it also mirrors the style of the user – which makes this kind of interaction different to interacting with a search engine.

Alongside policies about how to use GenAI across our Academic Framework, CCCU is conducting research into ways to use GenAI more creatively, compassionately and wisely. Our research is distinctive because it draws together experts from multiple disciplines. To find out more about CCCU’s research into the value of interdisciplinary epistemic insight now that we have access to GenAI – please see this media announcement:

AI open lecture and debate at CCCU on 14th Sep 23

The video below offers some edited highlights from an open lecture and panel discussion that marked the launch of Canterbury Christ Church’s new Educative Approach to GenAI.

Working Paper on ‘AI Times’ – A New Inter-Disciplinary Journal Exploring the Future of Higher Education in the Age of GenAI

Fast track to Prompt Engineering: An Online Seminar for Brunel University

In this talk at Brunel University I discussed prompt engineering which is the art of crafting questions and instructions to get the best output from a generative AI system.

Title: A fast track to prompt engineering
GenAI is unlike anything most of us have ever worked with before. To get it to work for you it helps to know a bit about what it’s doing and why. The more we know, the more choices we can make. But there’s more than one way to investigate a technology – especially one that can ‘talk’. In this session you will have my pick of interesting, quirky and useful things you can do with Bing/Bard and ChatGPT – though the mindset of a playful scientist.
Interspersed with experiments we can try as we go, we’ll address some FAQs that can come up in a typical university – what works when it comes to new ways to motivate, challenge and assess students now that we have GenAI? What’s the point of being on campus if you’re not studying a practical subject like biology, music or dance? And do we still need a library building – if we can find and organise knowledge so much faster when we’re doing research online?
From ‘nuts and bolts’ explanations in computer science to use-cases in astronomy, biology, education, epistemology, politics, theology and the arts – what’s remarkable about GenAI is that every discipline can have something to say. Which is why I would very much like to know – what was the first prompt or question you put into a GenAI chatbot – and what did the bot reply? I will succeed if I can spark your sense of curiosity and show you some unexpected reasons and ways to work across disciplinary divides.