ChatGPT — Technological advancement is always worth celebrating since it may make life simpler.
However, there may be downsides, particularly for academics.
The AI race
Since the introduction of ChatGPT by OpenAI in late 2022, artificial intelligence has become the trendiest subject on the internet.
The AI tool can do a variety of jobs with a single command, making it useful for academic work and staff chores.
The success of the tool garnered the attention of millions of users.
Microsoft intended to spend $10 billion in OpenAI in early 2023, more than doubling the company’s worth to $29 billion.
Former OpenAI staffers have joined Anthropic, a new business that is testing its own chatbot dubbed Claude.
Google released Bard in early February, while Chinese search engine Baidu debuted the Ernie Bot in March.
Although ChatGPT has heralded a new age, it has also unleashed a tsunami of AI that threatens to undermine education.
A poll conducted by Stanford University’s student-run newspaper found that 17% of the university’s students utilized ChatGPT on assignments and tests by the end of 2022.
Some students even passed off the AI’s writing as their own, and many are likely still getting away with it due to ChatGPT’s near-perfect performance.
Room to learn
Brett Vogelsinger, a ninth-grade English instructor, came upon a student’s essay when a paragraph stuck out.
Even though the essay was a work in progress, Vogelsinger could have recognized it as a ChatGPT prompt if the student hadn’t copied and pasted it.
“It can outperform a lot of middle school kids,” said the English teacher.
Vogelsinger saw the action as an opportunity rather than a cheat.
“[We’re] color-coding,” said the teacher.
They emphasized the student’s writing in green, whereas ChatGPT was in blue.
Brett Vogelsinger is assisting the student in selecting statements from the AI to elaborate on, allowing others to participate with the AI.
While most students haven’t utilized it on a daily basis, Vogelsinger feels it has helped them focus on their ideas and get started.
Brett Vogelsinger handled the situation well, but instructors at other colleges and institutions are struggling with ChatGPT and other AI applications.
In early January, ChatGPT was prohibited in New York public schools, thereby disabling the tool on devices and networks.
Many instructors are afraid that children who utilize it would lack critical thinking and problem-solving abilities.
Others mentioned how the tool’s results might be dangerous or erroneous.
Other school districts in the United States and throughout the world have enacted similar restrictions.
To limit students’ usage of ChatGPT, Stanford computer science professor Keith Schwarz claimed he resorted to traditional pencil-and-paper tests.
Read also: GPT-4 is OpenAI’s latest innovation
Despite the controversies surrounding ChatGPT and other AI technologies, they may continue to serve students.
For example, it can shorten the time it takes to write in the same way that a calculator simplifies arithmetic or Google searches for facts.
Avani Rao, a high school sophomore from California, was astounded by the AI technology.
“It’s so much more realistic than I thought a robot could be,” said Rao.
Rao has been using ChatGPT to build creative or ridiculous things, but not for education.
Because of the tool’s effectiveness, there are several ways it may level the playing field for students learning a second language or those having difficulty producing sentences.
ChatGPT generates new and unique content, hence it is not plagiarizing.
Students may also utilize the AI tool as a coach to help them improve their writing and grammar or to clarify issues they are struggling with.
“It really will tutor you,” said Vogelsinger.
ChatGPT, according to one of his pupils, clearly conveyed a subject from their science class.
Educators may also utilize ChatGPT to develop lesson plans, exercises, and exams, or to adapt them to meet the requirements of individual students.
Xiaoming Zhai, a scientific education expert at the University of Georgia, put the tool through its paces using an academic article.
He was amazed by the outcome because of its capacity to synthesize knowledge and create effective writing.
“It’s really amazing,” said Zhai.
While AI technologies clearly bring several benefits, they also have significant drawbacks.
One of the most serious issues is that ChatGPT and related technologies may make mistakes since they do not use data from databases.
They are instead taught to write fresh natural-sounding writings.
The tools remix language without comprehension, resulting in errors.
For example, in 2023, the news website CNET was chastised for using AI to generate a number of articles, many of which had inaccuracies.
The Bard chatbot created inaccuracies regarding the James Webb Space Telescope during early ads.
ChatGPT is “confidently wrong,” according to Casey Fiesler, a technology ethics specialist at the University of Colorado Boulder.
“There are mistakes and bad information,” she pointed out.
Fiesler has also created TikTok shorts on ChatGPT’s flaws.
The training data for the OpenAI tool is restricted, dating back until before September 2021.
When the tool was asked for sources, it made them up.
Xiaoming Zhai sees the tool as a help, but when he requested for citations, he discovered its limitations.
While the findings appeared to be right, they did not exist.