A human and humanoid hand reaching to each other. Generative Future: Revolutionizing Learning with Artificial Intelligence / 2023 C21U Annual Symposium

The Center for 21st Century Universities (C21U) hosted the 2023 Symposium, Generative Futures: Revolutionizing Learning with Artificial Intelligence, on Thursday, September 28, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Georgia Tech Global Learning Center.

In an age where generative artificial intelligence (generative AI) is reshaping our perceptions of creativity and capability, Generative Futures offers a pivotal exploration into this brave new world. As algorithms craft art, compose music, and write narratives, the lines between human ingenuity and machine creativity blur, invoking powerful reflections from our artistic and scientific fiction canon. The prophetic caution of dystopian tales and the aspiration of utopian narratives guide our understanding, urging us to ask: How does this technological evolution redefine education? From the vast digital landscapes of online education at scale to the individual classrooms, we are challenged to re-imagine the role of the educator, the student, and the essence of learning.

Through this confluence of art, film, science, and technology, Generative Futures sought to illuminate the path ahead, unearthing the wonders and the pitfalls that await us.

In “From Panic to Promise: Embracing Conversational AI in Education,” David Joyner, the keynote speaker our symposium and author of A Teacher’s Guide to Conversational AI: Enhancing Assessment, Instruction, and Curriculum with Chatbot, addresses the initial concerns of educators regarding the impact of generative AI on assessments. In this video, Joyner highlights how generative AI can empower learners and provide invaluable support to teachers.


Under the title of Artificial Imagination: AI in Sci-Fi, Cinema, and Fine Art, panelists (from left to right) Dr. Ida M. Yoshinaga, Prof. Mark J. Leibert, Dr. Lisa Yaszek, and moderator C21U executive director Dr. Stephen Harmon focused on AI in pop culture, identifying its roots in turn-of-the-century scientific and social change and storytelling, its use in speculative/fantastic genre fiction and screenwriting, and the ethics and creative potential when producing original visual and musical artifacts.


‘Generative Futures’ is a product of Georgia Tech’s Center for 21st Century Universities (C21U) – a living laboratory for fundamental educational change.

Serving as a research arm of the Division of Lifetime Learning, C21U’s team of technologists and researchers support the Institute’s innovation mission by pushing the boundaries of what is already done in higher education to bring the most impactful resources and technologies to learners.