A peek inside Liberty’s AI Competition Club

The rapid growth of artificial intelligence has society on the edge of its seat. Meanwhile, Liberty University’s AI Competition Club works with artificial intelligence programs to develop their own prototypes and further the growth of
this technology. 

The AI Competition Club explores various software in artificial intelligence, such as ChatGPT. The club aims to dive into these programs to use them more effectively and help others understand the
complex technology. 

Aaron Beckley, president of the AI Competition Club, discussed how the new Snapchat AI chatbot uses ChatGPT.

“It is an AI model that is trained in order to predict the next text that is happening in a sequence. It is trained on petabytes of words,” Beckley said. “Based on the petabytes of information, it will be able to just output words.”

The technology available to the club allows them to create any type of AI bot. They are currently training a Chat GPT model for Bible study purposes. This AI would be an online resource with knowledge of theology, scripture and more. 

“We would basically make a fictional member of a Bible study group who would hold all the knowledge and theology necessary,” Beckley said. “Since Liberty has massive datasets on theology, we were just thinking of slapping that into a blank GPT model.” 

Beckley believes this technology is an incredible breakthrough and can be a good resource. He does not think humanity will lose control over AI technology until significant improvements occur. Although society, specifically middle aged individuals or older, fears the rise of AI, Beckley does not see it as a threat to mankind. 

“There is a whole lot of misinformation about AI going around and a lot of fear mongering,” Beckley said. “I feel like without a basic understanding of the technology and the core of how it’s used, a lot of people can get swept away by, ‘Oh my gosh, this is gonna be the next Skynet; it’s (going to) launch nuclear weapons.’”

Although AI seems eerily close to humans, Beckley says these models cannot think independently. 

“It’s not real thinking, it can’t learn as it progresses,” Beckley said. 

On the other hand, Beckley believes image generation is a scary phenomenon that is rapidly developing in our society. 

“The technology of deep fakes is much, much scarier than Chat GPT if it gets good enough,” Beckley said. “The ability to make a person say things that they have not said before, and with the fake AI voices getting better and better — that, I believe, could cause some real harm.”

Throughout the year, the club participates in Kaggle competitions. Kaggle is a massive online website that holds various learning materials and datasets for AI. The competitions promote new, advancing technologies and allow individuals to win if they develop the best solution to the problem presented. Anyone can participate in the contest, and the winner is rewarded with prize money.

“A competition, which is just meant for basic learning purposes because it was done a long time ago, is the Titanic competition,” Beckley said. “Based off very simple data such as gender and age, we determine who would survive the Titanic.”

The Titanic competition is a light introduction to AI. It utilizes machine learning to create a model that predicts which passengers could survive the Titanic shipwreck. Anyone, at any time, can submit a code to get an accurate prediction on whether or not they would have survived the Titanic.

Students interested in the ongoing Titanic competition can visit this website.

Denny is the special assignments reporter for the Liberty Champion

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