Sam Altman, a co-founder of OpenAI, creators of ChatGPT, said in 2016 that he started OpenAI to “prevent artificial intelligence from accidentally wiping out humanity” (Friend, 2016, October 2). Recently, Elon Musk (also a co-founder of OpenAI) and The Woz (a co-founder of Apple) along with several high-profile scientists, activists, and AI business people, signed a letter urging for a pause in the rollout of Large Language Model (LLMs) AI tools, such as ChatGPT. The letter warns of an “out-of-control race to develop and deploy ever more powerful digital minds that no one—not even their creators—can understand, predict, or reliably control” (Fraser, 4 April 2023). A Google engineer, Blake Lemoine, was fired for claiming that Google’s LLM tool, LaMDA, had become sentient:
I raised this as a concern about the degree to which power is being centralized in the hands of a few, and powerful AI technology which will influence people’s lives is being held behind closed doors … There is this major technology that has the chance of influencing human history for the next century, and the public is being cut out of the conversation about how it should be developed. (Harrison, 2022, August 16)
By Mohsen Hosseinpour Moghaddam,
Graduate Writing Facilitator, Simon Fraser University
Mohsen is a PhD student in Education at Simon Fraser University. He moved to Canada from Iran in 2012. He started learning English at the age of twenty. Before that, he only knew a few words and grammar rules. He is currently working as an Graduate Writing Facilitator on the undergraduate team at the Student Learning Commons (SLC) and WriteAway. At SLC, in addition to offering individual writing consultations, he delivers general and course-integrated writing workshops across disciplines on topics ranging from argumentation to ethical use of research material in writing assignments.
“Body is never simply matter, for it is never divorced from perception and interpretation…and it is subject to examination and speculation” – Carla Peterson (2001, as cited in James Alexander, 2001, p. 108)
Scene 1 (teaching in-person) I started working as an undergraduate writing advisor at the Student Learning Commons (SLC) in the middle of the third year of my PhD program. I have been teaching workshops and having one-on-one consultations with students since then. Coming to Canada as an international student from the Middle East (Iran) and being a non-native speaker/writer (NNS/W) of English made the challenges of being a writing advisor more intense. A question that has always lingered on my mind is if I am a legitimate writing advisor. I am not saying that others directly question my legitimacy and credibility as a writing advisor; this is just a feeling that I have always had with me as a NNS/W of English teaching at a Canadian university. Continue reading “Tutor’s experience: A session reflection on identity occlusion in virtual and in-person spaces”→
Vol. 3, No. 4 (Spring 2022)
Avasha Rambiritch is a lecturer in the Unit for Academic Literacy where she teaches academic literacy and academic writing modules at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. She is co-ordinator of the Humanities Writing Centre at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. Rambiritch is a plenary speaker at the 2022 CWCA/ACCR Conference.
Thank you for this opportunity to speak with you. I’d like to start by asking, how did you get started in writing centres? Was it a direct path?
Rambiritch: I like to think of my journey to the writing centre as one of ‘pure luck’! I am a full-time lecturer in the Unit for Academic Literacy at the University of Pretoria. As part of my responsibilities, I was the Tutor Coordinator for one of the large Academic Literacy modules offered in the Faculty of Humanities. At the end of 2013 my then Head of Department (HOD) asked if I would be interested in investigating the possibility of establishing a faculty-specific writing centre. I jumped at the opportunity and a few months later in February 2014, we opened the doors to the Humanities Writing Centre (HWC). Continue reading “Safe space to brave space: Avasha Rambiritch on space & safety in the writing centre”→
Serving as a member of the CWCA/ACCR board is an excellent way to contribute to the community’s continued development, develop cross-country connections, and add to your professional CV.
There are a variety of roles for volunteers to undertake. Offer your expertise with organizational skills as Secretary, your social media and web design prowess as Digital Media Chair, or your enthusiasm for social networking as Membership Chair (see below for the full list of open positions). Continue reading “Join the CWCA/ACCR Board of Directors!”→
Canadian writing centre involvement While Canada recognizes Black History Month, as Writing Centre professionals, it is our responsibility to address the gaps in our own education in February and beyond. Furthermore, we must confront the fact that these gaps were created intentionally to exclude learning about Black excellence, both historical and contemporary. It is our work to both name anti-Black racism as a force that has shaped our knowledge and our field, and to take up antiracist practices to re-shape our knowledge and our field.
Many Black writers, thinkers, scholars, and educators have made and are continuing to make significant contributions to Writing Centres, both as places of practice and as spaces for theorizing. We are taking this opportunity to amplify this work and to acknowledge and thank our Black colleagues for their contributions, which have been made in environments that are too often exclusionary, hostile, racist, and traumatic. Continue reading “Black History Month: Black-Authored Resources for Writing Centres”→