Within the last few months, it seems like everyone has been talking about ChatGPT. All of this interest is a mix of excitement and fear. Excited because of all of the opportunities that this new tool will allow and afraid because of all the potential for disruption and job loss. Many schools and universities have been scrambling to curb the use of ChatGPT for students. However, I’m of the opinion that they shouldn’t.
ChatGPT is a large language model created by OpenAI, one of the leading research organizations in the field of artificial intelligence. The goal of ChatGPT is to provide a conversational experience that is as natural and human-like as possible, using the latest advances in machine learning and natural language processing.
In the past few months, there has been a lot of controversy over the use of ChatGPT in schools and universities. Some schools have already banned it. The main concern that universities have is that students will use it to do their work for them. They equate it to plagiarism, and rightfully so in some cases. However, unlike actual plagiarism, text responses from ChatGPT aren’t as easily detected by universities. Therefore, it’s easier for them to simply ban the tool altogether.
The other concern is that the skills that students need to develop in order to research and write a quality essay will diminish. It’s as they say: “if you don’t use it, you lose it.” How will you ever learn to do your own research if ChatGPT does all of your research? How will you learn to think critically and formulate your thoughts into a cohesive argument if you simply insert a prompt in ChatGPT and paste the response?
The concerns of Universities are not unfounded. However, universities should also consider the cost of not allowing students to use ChatGPT and other similar tools.
As I already mentioned, I’m of the opinion that universities should allow the use of ChatGPT. Perhaps there should be rules for its use, but they should allow students to use it in some capacity. In fact, I think they should encourage it.
Many people liken ChatGPT to a calculator, to a computer, or to the internet. These are all valid comparisons. These are all tools that people use in order to make their job easier and allow them to perform more efficiently. Yes, we should still learn math before using a calculator, but using a calculator doesn’t make students worse at math. I believe it makes them better in most cases.
At the very least, it allows them to solve problems faster and more accurately. The same thing applies to computers and the internet. Try doing research for a paper without the internet. Your research process will take orders of magnitude longer and you likely won’t find the most recent sources. It’s just so much faster to publish online and that’s where most people’s attention is, so that’s where the information goes.
The main reason I advocate for using ChatGPT in school is that it’s being used across many industries in the real world. I use it almost every day at my job. And guess what? I don’t get in trouble for using it. My company encourages me to use it because they know it makes me up to 5 times more productive.
What do I do? I write copy for websites, usually for small small business websites. I use ChatGPT to generate ideas, rewrite content, elaborate on topics, research topics, and check for grammar. The point remains: ChatGPT is a tool and it’s widely used in the real world. Therefore, in order to stay competitive in the market, students should learn to use it so that they’re equipped with the best tools by the time they graduate.
First things first, I want to make a disclaimer. If you’re a student and your school says that the use of ChatGPT is not allowed, then you shouldn’t use it. At least, you shouldn’t use it for your school work. It’s not worth whatever consequences you’ll face such as suspension or expulsion.
However, even if your school does not allow you to use it for schoolwork, I highly recommend you use it in your own time. Either play around with it or find a real use for it such as writing copy, creating marketing materials, brainstorming, or anything else you can think of. Get creative and have fun.
On the flip side, if your school does allow the use of ChatGPT, be sure to follow their guidelines. Get used to how it works and learn to use it fully. After all, it’s just a tool. However, it’s a very powerful tool that can greatly increase your productivity and cut your learning curve.
If you do end up using ChatGPT for your schoolwork, there are a few things you should avoid. First, don’t blindly copy a response and submit it. ChatGPT is far from being error-free. In fact, I’ve come across plenty of erroneous responses in my own experience with it. You still have to do your own research and fact-check.
Another reason why you shouldn’t simply paste responses from ChatGPT is that, even though it’s an amazing writer, it often has a different tone than a human writer. As someone who uses it often, I personally can tell the difference between ChatGPT and human writing (most of the time).
Now that you know how not to use ChatGPT, here are some of the best practices for making the most out of the tool.
Given the controversy surrounding ChatGPT, I thought it would be a good idea to get its perspective on the issue of its use in school. So I thought, why not interview it? What follows is my interview with ChatGPT regarding these issues. My prompts are large text and ChatGPT’s responses are italicized and in quotes.
“Of course, I'd be happy to answer any questions you have!”
“As an AI language model, I don't have a physical presence, but I was created by OpenAI, one of the leading research organizations in the field of artificial intelligence. My purpose is to assist users by providing accurate and helpful responses to their questions or prompts. I was trained on a massive amount of text data, including books, websites, and other sources of human language, which allows me to understand and respond to a wide variety of topics and conversations. While I don't have emotions or opinions, I strive to provide unbiased and helpful information to the best of my ability.”
“There are many use cases for ChatGPT, as it is a highly versatile and powerful language model. Here are a few examples:
These are just a few examples of the many use cases for ChatGPT. As a highly adaptable and flexible language model, it can be used in many different ways to solve a wide range of problems.”
“While ChatGPT is capable of generating coherent text, it's important to note that it may not always provide accurate or appropriate responses for homework or academic writing assignments.
As an AI language model, ChatGPT doesn't have a deep understanding of the subject matter it is generating text about. It simply generates text based on patterns it has learned from the large amounts of data it has been trained on. This means that the text it generates may not be accurate, well-researched, or appropriate for a particular academic context.
Therefore, it's important to use caution when using ChatGPT for homework or academic writing assignments. It may be helpful for generating ideas or getting started on a project, but it should not be relied upon as a primary source of information or as a substitute for doing your own research and writing. It's always a good idea to consult with your instructor or a writing tutor if you're unsure about whether or not to use ChatGPT for a particular assignment.”
“The use of ChatGPT in universities and academic settings is a topic of ongoing debate. While ChatGPT can be a useful tool for generating ideas and providing inspiration for writing assignments, there are concerns about the appropriateness of using AI-generated text for academic work.
On the one hand, using ChatGPT for academic writing assignments could be seen as a form of plagiarism, since the text generated by ChatGPT is not the original work of the student. This could undermine the integrity of academic institutions and devalue the hard work of students who write their own papers.
On the other hand, some argue that ChatGPT can be a valuable tool for learning and exploration and that it could be used as a starting point for research and writing rather than a substitute for original work. Additionally, if students are given clear guidelines and instructions about how to use ChatGPT appropriately, it could be a helpful resource for those who struggle with writing or have difficulty generating ideas.
Ultimately, whether or not ChatGPT should be allowed for use in universities depends on a variety of factors, including the specific use case, the guidelines and policies of the institution, and the ethical considerations involved. It's important for universities to carefully consider the pros and cons of using ChatGPT and to establish clear policies and guidelines to ensure that its use is appropriate and ethical.”
“The future of ChatGPT is bright, as it represents the cutting edge of natural language processing technology. Here are a few potential directions that ChatGPT and other language models may develop in the coming years:
Overall, the future of ChatGPT and other language models is likely to involve continued development and improvement, as well as new and innovative applications in a wide range of industries and fields.”
ChatGPT is a powerful tool and should be treated as such. While students certainly need to learn the fundamentals that school teaches, students also need to keep up to date with useful tools. In this sense, ChatGPT is no different than a calculator or a computer.
With that said, there is a way to use ChatGPT responsibly, that empowers students and doesn’t make them lazy or dependent on the tool. Not to mention, if you don’t fact-check the responses given by the tool, you’re likely to submit a wrong answer sooner or later. ChatGPT isn’t always correct so it shouldn’t be relied on. The best way to use it is for generating ideas, outlines, and initial research.
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