It’s been quite a year for ChatGPT, with the large language model (LLM) now taking exams, churning out content, searching the web, writing code, and more. The AI chatbot can produce its own stories, though whether they’re any good is another matter.
If you’re in any way involved in the business of writing, then tools like ChatGPT have the potential to complete up-end the way you work—but at this stage, it’s not inevitable that journalists, authors, and copywriters will be replaced by generative AI bots.
What we can say with certainty is that ChatGPT is a reliable writing assistant, provided you use it in the right way. If you have to put words in order as part of your job, here’s how ChatGPT might be able to take your writing to the next level—at least until it replaces you, anyway….Continue reading…
Technology writer Dan Gillmor used ChatGPT in 2022 on a student assignment, and found its generated text was on par with what a good student would deliver and opined that “academia has some very serious issues to confront”. California high school teacher and author Daniel Herman wrote that ChatGPT would usher in “the end of high school English”.
In the Nature journal, Chris Stokel-Walker pointed out that teachers should be concerned about students using ChatGPT to outsource their writing, but that education providers will adapt to enhance critical thinking or reasoning. Emma Bowman with NPR wrote of the danger of students plagiarizing through an AI tool that may output biased or nonsensical text with an authoritative tone.
Joanna Stern in The Wall Street Journal described cheating in American high school English with the tool by submitting a generated essay. Professor Darren Hick of Furman University suggested a policy of giving an ad-hoc individual oral exam on the paper topic if a student is strongly suspected of submitting an AI-generated paper.
The New York City Department of Education reportedly blocked access to ChatGPT in December 2022 and officially announced a ban around January 4, 2023. The ban was lifted in May 2023, with an official statement that encourages use of AI tools like ChatGPT by students. In February 2023, the University of Hong Kong sent a campus-wide email to instructors and students stating that the use of ChatGPT or other AI tools is prohibited in all classes, assignments and assessments at the university.
Any violations would be treated as plagiarism by the university unless the student obtains the prior written consent from the course instructor. In a poll conducted in March and April 2023, 38% of American students reported they had used ChatGPT for a school assignment without teacher permission. In total, 58% of the students reported having used ChatGPT. In a blinded test, ChatGPT was judged to have passed graduate-level exams at the University of Minnesota at the level of a C+ student and at Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with a B to B− grade.
The performance of ChatGPT for computer programming of numerical methods was assessed by a Stanford University student and faculty in March 2023 through a variety of computational mathematics examples. Assessment psychologist Eka Roivainen administered a partial IQ test to ChatGPT and estimated its Verbal IQ to be 155, which would put it in the top 0.1% of test-takers.
Geography professor Terence Day assessed citations generated by ChatGPT and found that they were fake. Despite that, he writes that “the titles of the fake articles are all directly relevant to the questions and could potentially make excellent papers.
The lack of a genuine citation could signal an opportunity for an enterprising author to fill a void.” According to Day, it is possible to generate high-quality introductory college courses with ChatGPT; he used it to write materials on “introductory physical geography courses, for my second-year course in geographical hydrology, and second-year cartography, geographic information systems, and remote sensing”. He concludes that “this approach could have significant relevance for open learning and could potentially affect current textbook publishing models”.