The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Generative AI in higher education
Graphic created by Emma Richman / [email protected]

Generative Artificial Intelligence, a technology that may have once seemed distant, is now a reality that City College students and faculty are encountering. The “Generative AI in Higher Education” Zoom series was designed to assist in navigating this landscape of technology and education.


The “Generative AI” series aimed to explore AI’s place in higher education. The series is part of the Vision 2030 action plan from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) to provide focus, direction and equity to community colleges.


Students at City College, like sociology major Jazz Morey, are finding new ways to use AI — even as the college system is still figuring out how to ensure students don’t misuse the technology.


“I use AI right now to help translate things because I’ve been trying to learn Spanish,” Morey said. “I think there should be more regulation. I do think it’s overall really helpful because it’s not hard to use, and I have learned a lot from it so far.”  


On Feb. 27, during the fourth installment of the Zoom AI series, “Generative AI as a General Activity Booster,” organizers from the Academic Senate for Community Colleges, the Faculty Association of California Community Colleges and CCCCO discussed how to utilize AI in various ways. Ethan Hawkins, association executive at W Strategies, recommended using AI to translate legal documents, translate language, organize emails and brainstorm.  


While ChatGPT is one of the most popular AI bots available, Hawkins explained that many other AI models in the market do more than generate text, like Otter.AI and CircleBack, which help with note taking. City College student Erika Cerna works for a real estate firm and uses AI to help create advertisements.


“It generates 10 plus images, and you can tell it to remix,” Cerna said. “It’s fast, easy and simple, so I like it in that aspect.”


Other event organizers, like Associate Vice Chancellor at CCCCO Craig Hayward, spoke of the record-breaking rate of AI adoption. Some students are still wary of AI. Despite integrating AI into her life, Cerna, an economics and accounting major, believes that some caution needs to be taken with AI.


“There is new AI with video that is a little more scary,” Cerna said. “I feel like it can be very misleading and used inappropriately.”


Cerna’s feelings were echoed during the event when Prof. Cheryl Aschenbach discussed some of the challenges and concerns with AI. Those included bias in the system, access to the best AI tools, privacy concerns, energy consumption and environmental impact. While those questions remain unanswered, Morey feels AI will be a positive thing for students in higher education going forward. Many other City College professors view AI in the same light.


“I’m hopeful that there will be more rules and laws about AI so that people are protected on the Internet,” Morey said. “But I think we will figure it out and students will just have more access to information that will help them in college in the long run.”

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About the Contributor
Leah Lentz
Leah Lentz, Staff Writer
Leah has been drawn to journalism since she was young. Some of her fondest memories from her childhood are opening the Sacramento Bee every morning to check out the sports page.
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