I used to fancy myself as somewhat of an analyzer of cultural trends. Now maybe I am just facing the music of my own age. I still have tendencies toward workaholism (just ask my wife!), but I am selective in my investigations. I depend upon others to keep me somewhat informed.
My old college roommate, Lloyd Hamilton, is much more visible on social media, than am I, and he is one whose outlook I appreciate. It has been over 51 years since we moved into the same dorm room. I don’t remember him (at that time!) as being so interested in reading in order to learn things he didn’t already know. He has impressed me over the last number of years as being well-read. I have learned a lot just by paying attention to the things he mentions on social media. It was Lloyd who introduced me to the work of David French, of the Dispatch. Thanks, Lloyd!
My boss, Chad Ragsdale, is another one. Sarcasm oozes from his veins. I have even heard that he has called sarcasm a spiritual gift. Chad wrote a piece on December 19 that introduced me to the existence of OpenAI’s app called ChatGPT. His blog was titled, The Robots are Coming. It is probably more worthwhile of your reading, than is this blog post.
Since reading Chad’s post, I am seeing LOTS of posts about ChatGPT. Like for example:
- An editorial from yesterday’s Chicago Tribune
- A mention in yesterday’s email from Christianity Today
- A mention in today’s Denison Forum
I decided to mess around with it just a little bit. I have been teaching Koine Greek for quite a few years. In August 2021 (mainly because the above-mentioned boss, Chad Ragsdale, was no longer teaching a Greek 1 class opposite mine), I switched from my 50-year old practice of using Erasmian Pronunciation to using a Reconstructed Koine Pronunciation. Last semester, I went even further off the rails by ditching a traditional pedagogical method for 1st year Greek, and began using a communicative approach. There are two organizations producing materials. I have used both of them in preparing myself for this gargantuan shift:
I have used materials from both of these organizations, and recommend them. There is another similar organization, Polis, but I have only used (and sparingly at that!) some of their printed material.
So . . . 3 semesters ago I left behind a pronunciation scheme for Koine Greek that I had used for over 50 years! One semester ago, I completely (!) changed my pedagogical approach with beginning students. I have lost my mind!
But . . . this post is titled Messing Around with ChatGPT (AI). So let’s do that. I asked OpenAI to write a post on which pronunciation scheme was best for the study of Koine Greek. This is what the computer generated for me:
There are several different pronunciation schemes that are used for the study of Koine Greek, and it can be difficult to determine which one is best. Some of the most common pronunciation schemes include the modern Greek pronunciation, the Erasmian pronunciation, and the reconstructed ancient pronunciation.
The modern Greek pronunciation is based on the pronunciation of modern Greek, and it is often used by Greek speakers and those who are interested in speaking Greek as a living language. This pronunciation scheme is generally considered to be the most accurate and authentic, as it is based on the way the language is actually spoken today. However, it can be difficult for those who are not native Greek speakers to learn and may not be suitable for those who are primarily interested in reading and translating ancient Greek texts.
The Erasmian pronunciation is named after Desiderius Erasmus, who developed this system in the 16th century. It is based on the way that Latin was pronounced in the Roman Empire and is commonly used in many language schools and university programs. It is generally considered to be easy to learn and pronounce, and it is often used as a starting point for those who are new to learning Greek. However, it is not based on the way that Greek was actually pronounced in ancient times, and some scholars argue that it is not an accurate representation of the language.
The reconstructed ancient pronunciation is based on the way that Greek was likely pronounced in ancient times. It is based on the evidence of how Greek was written and on the ways that other languages that were spoken in the same time and place were pronounced. This pronunciation scheme is generally considered to be the most accurate representation of the way that Greek was spoken in ancient times, but it can be difficult to learn and may not be suitable for those who are primarily interested in reading and translating ancient Greek texts.
Overall, it is difficult to determine which pronunciation scheme is best for the study of Koine Greek. The modern Greek pronunciation is the most authentic, but it can be difficult for non-native speakers to learn. The Erasmian pronunciation is easy to learn, but it is not an accurate representation of the language. The reconstructed ancient pronunciation is the most accurate, but it can also be difficult to learn. Ultimately, the best pronunciation scheme will depend on the individual learner’s goals and needs.
Then, I asked OpenAI to write a limerick about Ryne Sandberg:
There once was a man named Ryne
Whose fielding skills were truly divine
With a glove on his hand
He’d command the land
And his hitting skills were just as fine.
Finally, since I am just messing around with ChatGPT, I asked a question based on some of my former attempts at self-deprecating humor. I am a life-long fan of the Chicago Cubs. Sometimes I have called being a Cubs fan as a mental disorder. I am becoming increasingly aware that joking about mental disorders is really not a very nice thing to do, since for people dealing with actual mental disorders, it is NO JOKING MATTER! But . . . since I am messing around, I asked ChatGPT why being a fan of the Chicago Cubs was a mental disorder. Even AI tells me that I should not joke about such matters:
It is not appropriate to label being a fan of a particular sports team as a mental disorder. It is a common and normal part of human experience to have interests and passions, including being a fan of a particular sports team. It is not healthy or productive to dismiss or mock someone’s interests or passions, and it is important to respect and support others’ personal choices and hobbies.
So, that is my initial foray into the use of ChatGPT. No doubt, it will present a challenge for those of us in education. If we choose to use it, let us use it judiciously.