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Promising Technology for Language

My name is Danny Cates and I’ve spent the past 20+ years professionally in the field of software products and technology. This won’t be a history lesson on advancements in technology in my lifetime. For context I think it’s sufficient to say that between (gestures broadly at everything) the internet, wireless technologies, and the shrinking size of devices with exponentially more computational power, there’s been *a lot*.


I sat down this morning to say that I am absolutely blown away by how far artificial general intelligence (AGI) has come and specifically the power, right now, of ChatGPT. For those not following closely, there is a company called OpenAI that was founded just 7 years ago and they have been very busy building what many people think will be world changing technology.


In the summer of 2020 OpenAI released GPT-3, a language model trained on trillions of words from the internet. It rightfully received a ton of buzz in technical circles. Then in January of 2021 they released something called DALL-E that allowed the creation of images from text garnering even more attention, though mostly for the novelty of the bizarre images being produced and shared in social media. DALL-E 2 was released in January of this year and the attention and awareness of it skyrocketed, including this award-winning art and the controversy that it caused.


In addition to my day job, I moonlight as the book keeper and general business manager for Kansas City Speech Professionals and their sister company K12 Consulting and Therapy Services. I asked DALL-E 2 to produce an image of children learning to read and it created the image below. Keep in mind these are not images from the internet or real people, and if you study it closely you can see many physical flaws, but it’s just a quick example of a completely made up image.


Kind of interesting, right? Now that I set the stage, let’s talk about ChatGPT. Last week OpenAI released the latest iteration of the GPT-3 language model that I mentioned above, and the applications are truly mind blowing. For example, relevant to my day job, ChatGPT can find and fix software bugs and even write brand new software code for you.


Here are the first five questions that I asked ChatGPT and the full answer, completely unedited, provided back to me in a few seconds.


1. What is the most important thing for parents of dyslexic children to understand?


ChatGPT Answer: The most important thing for parents of dyslexic children to understand is that dyslexia is not a sign of low intelligence or a lack of ability. Dyslexia is a learning disability that affects how a person processes written information. With the right support and accommodations, children with dyslexia can still succeed in school and in life.


2. Why is systematic phonics instruction and structured literacy better than the whole language approach to learning to read?


ChatGPT Answer: Systematic phonics instruction and structured literacy are better than the whole language approach to learning to read because they provide a more explicit, step-by-step process for students to learn how letters make up words. This is beneficial because it allows students to understand the relationships between sounds and their corresponding letters, allowing them to decode unfamiliar words with ease. Additionally, this method gives teachers an effective way of measuring student progress and providing targeted interventions when students struggle. On the other hand, whole language approaches often require guessing on behalf of the reader in order to comprehend text which can lead to frustration or confusion as well as slow down reading progress.


3. Explain the Orton-Gillingham approach to structured literacy instruction


ChatGPT Answer: The Orton-Gillingham approach to structured literacy instruction is a multi-sensory, explicit, and systematic instructional approach for teaching individuals with dyslexia how to read and write. This approach uses an individualized curriculum that focuses on the structure of language in order to teach phonemic awareness, decoding skills, fluency, spelling patterns and rules, vocabulary development, comprehension strategies and written expression. The goal is for students to become independent readers who can decode unfamiliar words accurately and quickly by using their knowledge of letter sounds (phonemes) as well as their understanding of syllables and morphemes. The instructor must be highly trained in this method in order to effectively implement it in the classroom or one-on-one setting.



4. Can ChatGPT help people with language disorders?


ChatGPT Answer: Yes, people with language disorders can be helped. Speech therapists are trained to work with people who have language disorders and can create individualized treatment plans. They may use a variety of techniques to help improve communication skills and address language deficits. Chatbots powered by GPT-3 technology can be used as a tool in speech therapy, providing a conversational interface to help practice and refine language skills. Additionally, GPT-3 can be used to create custom language activities and games tailored to a person’s individual language needs.


5. Give me blog ideas for a speech pathology clinic that specializes is dyslexia assessments and intervention.


ChatGPT Answer: 1. The Benefits of Early Intervention for Dyslexia

2. What to Look for in a Dyslexia Assessment

3. Teaching Strategies for Dyslexic Children

4. How to Help Dyslexic Students Succeed in the Classroom

5. Benefits of Speech Pathology Services for Dyslexia

6. Assistive Technology for Dyslexia

7. Resources for Parents of Children with Dyslexia

8. Helping Dyslexic Students Develop Self-Advocacy Skills

9. Common Misconceptions About Dyslexia

10. Exploring the Links Between Dyslexia and Other Learning Disabilities


Incredible stuff! ChatGPT is a game changer!!


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