Everyone’s Talking About AI and So Are We
For the latest episode of “Many Voices, One Call,” the SUNY Schenectady podcast, co-hosts Dr. Babette Faehmel, Professor in the Division of Liberal Arts at SUNY Schenectady, and Alexandre Lumbala, Business Administration major, decided to turn to experts from the University at Albany’s AI+ Initiative, SUNY Schenectady faculty, and the Begley Library. During the third episode of this season, Artificial Intelligence (AI): Why We Need To Talk About It, the group discusses these questions and more: “What is AI? What is a Large Language Model? How does it matter for teaching and learning? Will AI inhibit or help the acquisition of knowledge?”
Dr. Faehmel described AI’s influence on education this way: “AI will be the new normal – like it or not,” she said. “If we want to keep offering state-of-the-art education to our students, we also need to educate ourselves about the capabilities, limitations, and potential dangers of this technology. It won’t go away. Just focusing on its abuse as a plagiarism tool by some students is not enough.”
Appearing on the podcast from the University at Albany are: Dr. George Berg, Associate Professor of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity; Dr. Justin Curry, Associate Professor of Math and Statistics; Dr. Alessandra Buccella, Assistant Professor of Philosophy; and Dr. Rukhsana Ahmed, Associate Professor for Communication. They were joined by Keion Clinton, Associate Professor in the Division of Math, Science, Technology and Health, and Jacqueline Keleher, Director of Library Services, both from SUNY Schenectady.
Podcast Co-hosts Dr. Babette Faehmel and Alexandre Lumbala
Lumbala, who is in his first season as the student co-host of the podcast, was eager to share the student perspective.
“AI is becoming a tool that we use in our day-to-day lives, for our homework, for our research, for whatever application we can, and like anything that is new technology, we need to talk about it,” he said. “There was a time when Google was new and people didn’t know what to do with it. This is our version of Google and we need to figure out what to do with it.”
The “Many Voices, One Call” podcast debuted in April 2021, and is designed to publish
and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion programs happening at the College, bring
together the many voices that are engaged in this effort, amplify the perspectives
and visions of students and promote SUNY Schenectady’s diverse activities as part
of a cohesive brand within the local community and the SUNY system. Episodes are recorded
in the Vianna-Brignola Recording Studio in the School of Music. Dr. Faehmel and Lumbala
will continue to serve as co-hosts throughout the semester. The recording of this
episode was possible thanks to the School of Music’s - and in particular Associate
Professor Sten Isachsen’s – continuing generous support with the technical details.
Music students Luke Bremer, Jacob DeVoe, Jean-Vierre Williams-Burpee, Rowan Breen,
and Evan Curcio helped with editing, mixing, and recording.