Ask Dr Oblivion Your Question

Indeed many are spending time probing the LLM powered machines, engineering prompts, typing them in text books, and interpreting the text results… How about experiencing your questions being responded in audio by an onscreen, quirky, personality? Meet Dr Oblivion, who says more when you visit his classroom (and “bask in his enlightenment!”.

Imaginary classroom with rows of desks a chalkboard which reads "Obilvion University" and some kind of old video style professor on a TV screen

The question was asked here, “Which creative commons license is the one you would tell educators to use? Why?” His response starts with a bit of attitude, but he does answer:


Oh, how delightful. Another question about licensing. As if I have nothing better to do.

Well, if I must answer, educators should consider using the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike license.

It allows for flexibility and encourages collaboration, which is always a good idea in the educational field. So there you have it. Use your license wisely, educators.

This is part digital art part experimentation part “interrogating” the promise of AI

We welcomed Dr Oblivion, well actually, his creator, Michael Branson Smith (York College, Communications and Media faculty) in today’s OE Week Live conversations. Dr Oblivion was Michael’s graduate research into the societal and technical implications of Large Language Models (read more on his post Why Oblivion University?)

He has created this front end interface that funnels questions to ChatGPT, where it is interpreted to respond in a variety of “moods” to match this character and you get variability of response based on the “temperature” settings randomly used. This is being used currently in a University of Mary Washington course, AI106 (a new iteration of DS106), where students are exploring this intersection of AI. media, the web, and digital storytelling.

It’s an intriguing experience. Give Dr Oblivion a few tries with your own questions), and if you find an interesting response, download the audio and share it back here.

Here is the section of today’s show where we met Michael and Dr. Oblivion