The SDG AI Lab offers a hands-on crash course on prompt engineering to development practitioners
IICPSD’s SDG AI Lab dives into the latest technologies behind ChatGPT
April 5, 2023
On 5 April 2023, IICPSD’s SDG AI Lab hosted a webinar on Chat GPT and offered a crash course on prompt engineering to an audience of 140+ people from UNDP and beyond. This webinar was the second session in the series “Natural Language Processing for Sustainable Development Goals” (NLP for SDGs). The NLP for SDGs webinar series was initiated by the SDG AI Lab, in partnership with OSDG and Koç University. It aims to provide a platform for the exchange of ideas and knowledge in the use of NLP for achieving SDGs.
Launched by Open AI in November 2022, ChatGPT – the generative AI that took the world by storm – pioneered in advanced natural language processing. Externalized as a real-time chatbot, ChatGPT also changed the status quo of how AI technologies engage with the public. In about 2 months, ChatGPT has reached 100 million active users, hence making it the fastest-growing consumer application to date. This webinar thus sought to unpack the latest developments in NLP behind ChatGPT, the ethical risks in its use, and offer a crash course on how users can best engage with the tool.
The webinar started by providing a background on several important concepts and technologies that have made ChatGPT possible. It then proceeded to a brief introduction of the tool itself and a few examples of its use in the field of education, research & consulting, app development, translation, etc. Toward the end of the presentation, the SDG AI Lab team led a session on prompt engineering and had a live demonstration.
While ChatGPT has been instrumental for a wide range of text-based tasks, the immense potential that it affords also comes with certain risks and possible misuse. The SDG AI Lab NLP team raised these issues to the audiences for further discussion. Ethical considerations - from biases in training data to false information in generated content and to underpaid workers providing human feedback - all demand greater attention from developers and policymakers.
As IICPSD’s Director Mr. Sahba Sobhani said,
“As development practitioners, we should have a bigger discussion about the pros and cons of using such technology, and the kind of biases it has. The agenda for today is to engage our colleagues in the use of ChatGPT, and prompt engineering is important because being able to ask the right prompts is a critical way for us to be able to use this tool in this context.”
IICPSD SDG AI Lab, with its primary aim to harness the potential of artificial intelligence for sustainable development, will take a lead in the conversation about AI technologies’ implications for the development sector.