ChatGPT’s Educational Effects, As Written By ChatGPT–Whats-coming-up-next

By Aidan Rubel

LOS ANGELES — If you have recently spent time looking at innovation news, you have probably heard about ChatGPT. ChatGPT is an online tool that utilizes artificial intelligence to answer commands, and was launched in November of 2022. Some call ChatGPT a chatbot, which’s function is to mimic human conversation, but this is hardly all that it can do.


ChatGPT also has the ability to generate unique recipes for everything from fried chicken to shakshuka, solve complex mathematical equations, teach users about historical events, and much more.


Controversially, ChatGPT is able to solve test questions and write essays, which has recently become a problem because of its use by students to plagiarize and cheat on their assignments.


I was curious, so I decided to ask ChatGPT what it thought about this controversy. When prompted to “write a news article about what ChatGPT is, what students use it for, how it encourages plagiarism, and how it is being combatted at universities across the U.S.”, the artificial intelligence (A.I.) generated this excerpt:


“‘ChatGPT: The AI Writing Tool Taking Universities by Storm’


ChatGPT, a large language model developed by OpenAI, has been gaining popularity among students as a tool for writing assignments and papers. However, the tool’s ability to generate high-quality text has also raised concerns about plagiarism among educators.


Many students have been found to be using ChatGPT to generate entire papers or portions of papers, leading to increased instances of plagiarism on college campuses. The tool is capable of producing coherent and well-written text, making it difficult for educators to detect plagiarized work.


Universities across the United States are taking action to combat this issue. Some have implemented software that can detect plagiarism in written work, while others have increased educational efforts to raise awareness about the dangers of plagiarism and the importance of academic integrity.


Additionally, some universities have implemented stricter policies and penalties for plagiarism, including revoking degrees or expulsion for repeat offenders.


Despite the concerns about plagiarism, ChatGPT has been praised for its ability to assist students with writing assignments and improving their language skills. However, educators and universities must remain vigilant in their efforts to combat plagiarism and maintain academic integrity.


In conclusion, ChatGPT is a powerful AI tool that has greatly impacted the writing and education industry, but it’s also been a cause of concern for plagiarism, which is being combated by the Universities with the use of software, awareness programs and stricter policies.”


While ChatGPT’s educational use is universally controversial, the solutions to this problem are most definitely not. Some educational institutions, like New York City Public Schools, have turned to banning ChatGPT’s use on school computers and Wi-Fi networks, but this will not fix the problem. This solution ignores students’ ability to use ChatGPT at home, on personal computers, and would only punish low-income students who do not have access to computers and/or wi-fi networks outside of school.


Others who wish to ban ChatGPT’s use in schools have turned to GPTZero, a program recently developed to combat ChatGPT by analyzing text to determine whether or not it is A.I. generated. This program is not objective, though, and only determines the perplexity—a measurement of how well a probability model predicts a sample—of the inputted text, which is then compared to the perplexity of A.I. generated text; which, as seen in the excerpt above, is not very complex.


GPTZero’s lack of definite ruling on whether or not certain texts are A.I. generated opens the possibility that students could be falsely accused of plagiarism, and should be avoided until the technology is improved.


Other educational institutions have taken a more nuanced, inclusive approach, citing this inability to efficiently monitor students’ use of the AI to complete schoolwork. 


Carrie Shields, a high school English teacher in Oregon, utilizes ChatGPT in class to help her students create essay outlines. Then, she has her students close their laptops and write their essays by hand. This approach is able to, at once, utilize ChatGPT while, at the same time, makes sure that students are improving their true writing ability.

In the years to come, ChatGPT will only get more powerful. Its successor, GPT-4, is expected to be released in the next few months. New updates to ChatGPT make these technologies especially hard for educators to combat; left scrambling for new solutions as these technologies ever-improve and eventually become indistinguishable from human speech.

About The Author

Aidan is currently serving as an Editor in Chief of the Peoples' Vanguard of Los Angeles. Part of UCLA's class of 2025, majoring in Public Affairs with a minor in Professional Writing, he is pursuing a career in the law. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, reading, going to the gym, and experiencing new cultures.

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