Getting Started with AI: Fostering Curiosity and Exploration

Getting Started with AI: Fostering Curiosity and Exploration

Getting Started with AI and Chat GPT

I’ve been thinking a lot about how to encourage others to get started using AI tools like Chat GPT. That’s why I came up with what I call the Tinkering & Collaboration model.

A Journey of 1000 Miles

There’s a quote attributed to the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu that goes something like this:

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step

Lao Tzu

That’s a bit like what getting started on the AI journey is like. You can see it’s a long and winding road, you’re not sure what the destination is going to look like, but you need to take the first step.

The First Step

Let’s take a look at the very first stage in our model. In this stage, our focus is not on mastering AI all at once but rather on personally exploring it, one interaction at a time.

At the beginning of any educational journey, it’s common to feel overwhelmed by the abundance of jargon and complex concepts. However, by approaching AI with curiosity and a willingness to learn, we can unlock its potential and navigate the initial stages with ease.

During this stage, we should do the following:

  • Encourage ourselves to be novices, embracing the opportunity to ask questions, generate content, learn some programming basics, dive down educational rabbit holes, brainstorm ideas, and seek advice.

It’s through these interactions that the seed of AI understanding is planted and nurtured. We can’t expect friends and colleagues to use AI for work purposes if they haven’t already figured out some of the benefits of using it for personal purposes first.

To kickstart your AI exploration, I’ve compiled a list of common tasks and questions that new users typically try first when engaging with AI tools like Chat GPT. Although these tasks may not fully tap into the immense power of AI, they serve as a great starting point, helping you or others solve immediate problems and build confidence in using AI.

With any of these you need to bring your own judgement and critical thinking, but that’s a post for another day. Let’s dive in…

Answering questions and exploring knowledge

A great place to start is to delve into the incredible ability of AI to provide answers and expand our knowledge. Whether it’s a simple fact-checking task or a complex inquiry about intricate theories, AI is here to assist us in unraveling the mysteries of the world.

One suggestion here is to go to GPT or another similar tool before you go to a google search. Let’s explore a few examples of how AI can answer our burning questions:

  1. Simple fact-checking: “Who was the 16th President of the United States?”
  2. Historical trivia: “What year did the French Revolution begin?”
  3. Science concepts: “How does photosynthesis work in plants?”
  4. Mathematical problem-solving: “What is the square root of 144?”
  5. Language translation: “Can you translate ‘hello’ into Mandarin?”
  6. Complex queries: “Can you explain the theory of relativity?”
  7. Medical inquiries: “What are the symptoms of COVID-19?”
  8. Current events: “What is the latest news on climate change?”
  9. references: “Who painted the Mona Lisa?”
  10. Geographical knowledge: “What is the capital city of Australia?”

Generating content

Some of you are going to feel uncomfortable about this one, but I’d encourage you to have a go regardless. Whether you need assistance with writing emails, crafting essays, developing stories, or creating compelling marketing copy, AI is here to help unleash your creativity.

Let’s explore how AI can be your reliable partner in content generation and take your ideas to new heights.

Here are some examples of how AI can assist in generating diverse types of content:

  1. Emails: “Help me draft an email to my team about our meeting next week.”
  2. Essays: “Can you help me write an essay on the impact of climate change?”
  3. Stories: “Write a short story about a spaceship lost in space.”
  4. Marketing copy: “I need a catchy description for my new cooking app.”
  5. Blog articles: “Can you provide ideas for a blog post about sustainable living?”
  6. Social media captions: “Help me come up with an engaging caption for this Instagram photo.”
  7. Product descriptions: “I need enticing descriptions for my new line of fashion accessories.”
  8. Speeches: “Assist me in writing a persuasive speech for an upcoming conference.”
  9. Resumes: “Can you help me polish my resume and make it stand out?”
  10. Poetry: “Generate a heartfelt poem about love and friendship.”

Learning languages

With AI as your language learning companion, you can explore various aspects of a language, receive instant feedback, and access a wealth of linguistic resources. Here are some examples:

Here are six more examples of how AI can assist in learning languages:

  1. Translation: “How do you say ‘I love you’ in French?”
  2. Grammar explanation: “When do we use ‘who’ and ‘whom’ in English?”
  3. Vocabulary learning: “Can you provide synonyms for the word ‘happy’?”
  4. Pronunciation practice: “Can you help me pronounce the word ‘pronunciation’ correctly in English?” Just a note on this one: Chat GPT can’t output sound yet, but it will give you a breakdown of syllables if you’re wondering how it would tackle this.
  5. Idioms and expressions: “What does the phrase ‘break a leg’ mean in the context of theater?”
  6. Language exercises: “Can you provide a few practice sentences for using the past tense in Spanish?”
  7. Cultural insights: “Tell me about traditional customs and celebrations in Japan.”
  8. Language immersion: “Can you recommend some podcasts or TV shows in Italian to improve my language skills?”
  9. Writing assistance: “I’m writing a cover letter in German. Can you help me with grammar and phrasing?”
  10. Language comprehension: “Can you help me understand the meaning of this Spanish sentence?”


Education is a fundamental aspect of our personal and professional growth. With the power of AI, the realm of education becomes even more accessible and interactive. Whether you’re seeking to expand your knowledge or delve into a new subject, AI can serve as a valuable educational resource.

Let’s explore how AI can assist in your educational journey with a variety of examples:

  • Physics: “Can you teach me the basics of quantum physics?”
  • Biology: “How does photosynthesis work?”
  • Economics: “Explain the concept of supply and demand in economics.”
  • History: “What are the key events of the American Revolution?”
  • Anatomy: “Can you provide an overview of the human digestive system?”
  • Psychology: “What are the main theories in psychology?”
  • Mathematics: “How do I solve quadratic equations in mathematics?”
  • History: “Tell me about the major battles of World War II.”
  • Literature: “What are the main elements of literary analysis?”
  • Biology: “Explain the process of DNA replication in biology.

Brainstorming ideas

Brainstorming ideas is an essential part of creativity and problem-solving. AI can be an incredible tool to spark inspiration and generate innovative ideas. Whether you’re working on a project, developing business strategies, or seeking writing prompts, AI can provide valuable input.

Let’s explore how AI can assist in brainstorming ideas with the following examples:

  • Science Projects: “I need to come up with an idea for a science project on renewable energy. Can you help?”
  • Business Strategies: “What are some marketing strategies for a new online clothing brand?”
  • Writing Prompts: “Can you give me a prompt for a fantasy story?”
  • Artistic Creations: “I’m looking for ideas for a unique painting. Any suggestions?”
  • Invention Concepts: “Help me brainstorm ideas for a new technological gadget.”
  • Content Topics: “What are some interesting blog post ideas for a travel website?”
  • Product Designs: “I need creative ideas for designing a user-friendly smartphone.”
  • Event Themes: “Suggest unique and engaging themes for a corporate event.”
  • Educational Activities: “What are some interactive learning ideas for teaching science to children?”
  • Social Campaigns: “I’m working on a social awareness campaign. Can you provide ideas for impactful messages?”

Programming help

This one won’t be for everyone either, but Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be an invaluable resource in your programming journey. Whether you need help understanding complex concepts or debugging your code, AI is here to assist and empower you to become a proficient programmer.

Here are 10 examples of how AI can provide programming help:

  1. HTML styling: “How can I centre an image in HTML using CSS?”
  2. CSS layout: “What is the best way to create a responsive grid layout in CSS for my website?”
  3. Explaining concepts: “Can you explain how recursion works in programming?”
  4. Debugging code: “I’m getting a ‘TypeError: undefined is not a function’ in my JavaScript code. What could be the issue?”
  5. Algorithm design: “Can you suggest an efficient algorithm for sorting a large dataset?”
  6. Code optimisation: “Help me optimise my Python code for better performance.”
  7. Error handling: “What is the best approach to handle null pointer exceptions in Java?”
  8. Framework recommendations: “Which JavaScript framework would be most suitable for developing a single-page application?”
  9. API integration: “I need guidance on integrating a payment gateway API into my web application.”
  10. Database queries: “Assist me in writing a SQL query to retrieve data from multiple tables.”

With AI as your programming ally, you can enhance your problem-solving skills, learn new programming techniques, and overcome challenges that would have been previously out of reach

Getting general advice

When you’re seeking guidance or advice, AI can be a valuable resource to turn to. Whether you’re looking for productivity tips, best practices, or motivation, AI can provide insightful recommendations to help you navigate various aspects of life.

Let’s explore how AI can assist in getting general advice with the following examples:

  1. Productivity Tips: “How can I manage my time more effectively?”
  2. Best Practices: “What are the best practices for remote working?”
  3. Motivation: “How can I stay motivated while working on a long-term project?”
  4. Health and Wellness: “What are some tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle?”
  5. Financial Advice: “Can you provide suggestions for managing personal finances?”
  6. Career Guidance: “What are the key skills and qualities employers look for in candidates?”
  7. Relationship Advice: “How can I improve communication in my relationships?”
  8. Personal Development: “What are some effective strategies for self-improvement?”
  9. Creative Inspiration: “Help me overcome creative blocks and find inspiration for my artistic pursuits.”
  10. Decision Making: “What factors should I consider when making an important life decision?”

Final thoughts

It’s important to remember that while these tools provide valuable assistance and insights, they should not be the sole basis for critical decisions. Exercise caution and use your own judgment, especially when it comes to sensitive matters.

It’s essential to cross-reference information, fact-check, and consider multiple perspectives. AI is a powerful tool, but it’s still a tool that requires human guidance and discernment. We should embrace the benefits of AI, but always verify and validate the information you receive.

If you found this interesting or useful

Check out my other content on AI in Education here. Thereโ€™s more on how you can use Chat GPT to enhance learning.

Author: Graeme Smith

Education, technology, design. Also making cool stuff...

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