This Laptop is Sorry For Your Loss

Staff members at Vanderbilt University sent an email to students using text generated by artificial intelligence to respond to the shooting at Michigan State University that killed three students.

The original e-mail, written by a computer program, to humans about how to be humans should come together in times of grief:

Dear Peabody Family: 

The recent Michigan shootings are a tragic reminder of the importance of taking care of each other, particularly in the context of creating inclusive environments. As members of the Peabody campus community, we must reflect on the impact of such an event and take steps to ensure that we are doing our best to create a safe and inclusive environment for all.One of the key ways to promote a culture of care on our campus is through building strong relationships with one another.

This involves actively engaging with people from different backgrounds and perspectives, listening to their stories, and showing empathy and support. We can also look out for one another by noticing signs of distress and offering support to those who may be struggling with mental health issues.

Another important aspect of creating an inclusive environment is to promote a culture of respect and understanding. This means valuing the diversity of experiences, perspectives, and identities on our campus, and actively working to create a space where everyone feels welcomed and supported. We can do this by listening to one another, seeking out new perspectives, and challenging our own assumptions and biases.

Finally, we must recognize that creating a safe and inclusive environment is an ongoing process that requires ongoing effort and commitment. We must continue to engage in conversations about how we can do better, learn from our mistakes, and work together to build a stronger, more inclusive community. 

In the wake of the Michigan shootings, let us come together as a community to reaffirm our commitment to caring for one another and promoting a culture of inclusivity on our campus. By doing so, we can honor the victims of this tragedy and work towards a safer, more compassionate future for all.

Vanderbilt University

Nicole Joseph, the associate dean for the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, apologized for using ChatGPT to write the email, calling it “poor judgment,” the Hustler reported. “While we believe in the message of inclusivity expressed in the email, using ChatGPT to generate communications on behalf of our community in a time of sorrow and in response to a tragedy contradicts the values that characterize Peabody College,” the apology read. “As with all new technologies that affect higher education, this moment gives us all an opportunity to reflect on what we know and what we still must learn about AI.” BuzzFeed News


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