Pradhyumna “Prady” Alone has been on New York Tech’s New York City campus for about seven months but says he’s already in love with the Big Apple. However, the Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) student says he does miss his family and the food in India. His longing for the familiarity of life back home will be worth it, though, when Alone graduates and can begin pursuing his dream of becoming a multinational company’s director of global marketing.
Currently, Alone is a research assistant for Associate Professor Colleen Kirk, D.P.S., who he credits as being “a huge part of my journey at New York Tech from my first semester here,” he says. “Dr. Kirk’s class has given me an opportunity to expand my professional skills and learn in a collaborative environment, which helps me connect more with both the subject matter and my classmates. Dr. Kirk has made her classroom an enjoyable experience, which is really important—especially for international students such as me.”
As part of his Marketing Research class with Kirk, Alone is working on a project involving the artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot ChatGPT (generative pre-trained transformer) and its influence on users and education at New York Tech. Defined by the bot itself, ChatGPT is a program that uses AI to have conversations with its users. It works by looking at the words users type and trying to figure out what they might be asking or talking about. Then it uses what it knows to try to come up with a response that makes sense and continues the conversation. Put simply, it’s software that can mimic human conversation.
Alone, who is working on the project with classmates Nehal Beniwal and Katherine Kingsly, seeks to first learn how familiar students and faculty are with ChatGPT. During this initial phase, research participants who knew of it admitted to using the free service for personalized learning in specific subject matter.
Then Alone aims to understand how users are utilizing the chatbot for educational purposes. Students may use the chatbot as a sort of secondary “professor,” asking it questions about a certain topic and learning information accordingly. With the non-stop availability of the Internet, students can have “office hours” with the chatbot whenever they please—getting immediate answers to questions rather than sifting through Google search results.
He was first introduced to ChatGPT in his class with Kirk, who asked her students to use the bot’s assistance to better the quality of their assignments.
“Dr. Kirk made us search specific topics discussed in class, and we were to find the mistakes or find the scope for improvement in the answers we received from ChatGPT,” he explains. “Through this process, she showed us how we can get content we need from ChatGPT and how we can improve the quality of our content in terms of grammar, context, or the way the answers are framed.”
Alone and his research partners decided they’d select ChatGPT as their research project and discover its influence around campus. The trio hopes to have their concluding phase of research, defining ChatGPT’s campus influence, complete by the end of this semester.
“It has always been a dream of mine to study in New York City,” Alone says. “When I was researching the top business schools in the area, the program at New York Tech caught my attention and fit perfectly with my vision to become a global marketing director.”
He only recently began chasing after this “vision.” After graduating with his bachelor’s degree in production engineering from India’s Savitribai Phule Pune University, Alone worked for a digital marketing firm as a business analyst. Gaining experience with international clients planted the seed that perhaps he would like to pursue a master’s degree in marketing and management—coming to New York Tech doubled up on fulfilling his newfound career goals and his dream of studying in New York City.
“Enjoy the work you’re doing,” offers Alone to students who wish to follow a similar academic path. “Do it passionately, and the rest will follow.”