ChatGPT In School: Why Students Should Use It

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.

What Is ChatGPT?

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.

The Controversy Of ChatGPT In College

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.

Nicholas Thompson doesn't think ChatGPT should be banned in school.
Luke Smaul thinks that chatGPT should be banned in schools for multiple reasons.
Buster Scher thinks banning ChatGPT in schools is like banning the internet.
Prof. Dr. Karina Ochis thinks that students should be allowed to integrate ChatGPT into their thinking processes

Why Universities Should Allow The Use of ChatGPT

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.

Using ChatGPT In The Real World

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.

Why Students Should Use ChatGPT

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.

How NOT To Use ChatGPT

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).

ChatGPT Best Practices

Now that you know how not to use ChatGPT, here are some of the best practices for making the most out of the tool.

  • Use it as a tool, not a substitute: ChatGPT can be a powerful tool for generating ideas and inspiration, but it should not be used as a substitute for original work. It's important to use ChatGPT as a starting point for research and writing and to supplement it with your own knowledge and ideas.
  • Understand its limitations: While ChatGPT is capable of generating coherent text, it doesn't have a deep understanding of the subject matter it is generating text about. It's important to be aware of the limitations of ChatGPT and to supplement its output with your own research and knowledge.
  • Evaluate its output critically: When using ChatGPT, it's important to evaluate its output critically and to fact-check any information it provides. It's also a good idea to have a second set of eyes review your work to ensure that it is accurate and appropriate.
  • Use it responsibly: It's important to use ChatGPT responsibly and ethically and to ensure that you are not violating any laws or academic policies by using it. Additionally, if you're using ChatGPT for business or commercial purposes, it's important to ensure that you have the appropriate licenses and permissions.
  • Keep up to date: Language models like ChatGPT are constantly evolving and improving, so it's important to keep up to date with the latest developments and updates. This can help you get the most out of ChatGPT and ensure that you're using it in the most effective and efficient way possible.
  • An Interview With ChatGPT

    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.

    Is it okay if I interview you?

    “Of course, I'd be happy to answer any questions you have!”

    Tell me a little bit about yourself

    “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.”

    When should I use chatGPT

    “There are many use cases for ChatGPT, as it is a highly versatile and powerful language model. Here are a few examples:

  • Customer service: ChatGPT can be used to provide instant and accurate responses to customer inquiries, reducing the need for human customer service representatives.
  • Personal assistants: ChatGPT can be used to create virtual personal assistants that can schedule appointments, make reservations, answer questions, and perform other tasks.
  • Education: ChatGPT can be used to create educational resources that can help students learn new topics, answer questions, and provide feedback.
  • Mental health: ChatGPT can be used to provide mental health support to people who are struggling with depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues.
  • Content creation: ChatGPT can be used to generate content for websites, blogs, social media, and other platforms.
  • 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.”

    Should I use chatGPT for my homework?

    “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.”

    Should Universities Allow Students To Use ChatGPT?

    “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.”

    What is the future of chatGPT

    “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:

  • Improved accuracy: One of the main areas of focus for ChatGPT and other language models is improving accuracy and reducing errors. This will involve fine-tuning the models to better understand context and nuances of language, as well as developing better methods for training the models.
  • Multilingual support: ChatGPT and other language models are already capable of understanding and generating text in multiple languages, but there is still much room for improvement. In the future, we may see language models that are even more adept at understanding and generating text in multiple languages.
  • Better understanding of emotions and sentiment: As language models continue to develop, they may become better at understanding emotions and sentiment in language. This could have applications in areas such as mental health, customer service, and marketing.
  • Integration with other AI technologies: ChatGPT and other language models are just one part of the larger ecosystem of AI technologies. In the future, we may see more integration between language models and other AI technologies, such as computer vision, robotics, and machine learning.
  • 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.”

    Final Thoughts

    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.