Drexel CCI Faculty Featured in WHYY Article on ChatGPT's Information Retrieval

Generated through Canva's AI image generator. Image courtesy of WHYY/Billy Penn.
Generated through Canva's AI image generator. Image courtesy of WHYY/Billy Penn.

Drexel University's College of Computing & Informatics (CCI) faculty members Denise Agosto, PhD and Michael Ekstrand, PhD were featured in a March 11 article on Billy Penn at WHYY on the mechanics behind ChatGPT and its role within the broader landscape of artificial intelligence (AI), information retrieval and human-computer interaction (HCI).

Denise Agosto, PhDMichael Ekstrand, PhD

Agosto, professor and director of the MS in Library and Information Science program, provided insights into the multifaceted nature of ChatGPT and its role within the realm of information access. With a specialization in information behavior, particularly focusing on children and youth, Agosto said that ChatGPT should be regarded as merely one tool among many. She highlighted the importance of librarians and information specialists in guiding individuals, both young and old, in utilizing these emerging applications and platforms effectively.

Ekstrand, an assistant professor of information science, provided a nuanced perspective on ChatGPT's functionality. Specializing in information retrieval and HCI, Ekstrand emphasized that ChatGPT does not operate as a search tool, but rather as a sophisticated response mechanism to prompts. Ekstrand highlighted the evolutionary sophistication of ChatGPT, tracing its roots back to statistical mathematical modeling concepts from the mid-20th century. 

Both Agosto and Ekstrand shared that users should exercise caution when using these tools due to data being influenced by human bias.

For the full article, please visit Billy Penn at WHYY's website.

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