What is AI? Why was ChatGPT banned? ‘Greatest cheating tool ever invented’ says teacher
Most of us are familiar with Alexa or Siri but not ChatGPT, a new artificial intelligence tool that emulates human language which can produce essays while circumventing plagiarism. Christian Terwisch, a Wharton MBA professor, said it could receive a “B or a B-” grade in an operations management exam at the Ivy League MBA level, so even its current level of sophistication is advanced.
The Wall Street Journal reported that leading professor Alex Lawrence called it “the greatest cheating tool ever invented” as it raises huge concerns for cheating in academia. With such software publicly available, experts are concerned about the outcome for society should we outsource education and learning to artificial intelligence.
Here’s what artificial intelligence (AI) is, the ChatGPT tool explained, and why some schools banned it.
What is AI?
Artificial intelligence refers to the simulation of human intelligence by way of computer systems that often, unlike passive machines, can make decisions based on real-time data rather than only working on predetermined functions.
The leading computer technology company Oracle defined AI as “a catchall term for applications that perform complex tasks that once required human input, such as communicating with customers online or playing chess.
“The term is often used interchangeably with its subfields, which include machine learning (ML) and deep learning.”
What is ChatGPT?
ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence chatbot specialised for language which was created by OpenAI. The tool was launched in November 2022 and has quickly grown in popularity since, it even received a multibillion-dollar investment from Microsoft according to the Financial Times.
Its learning model allows it to produce text that appears like a person wrote it as it can understand the human voice and interact with it in a surprisingly ‘natural’ manner - enabling it to remember conversations and participate in intellectual conversations. It can also translate documents, analyse complicated data and produce summaries of lengthy texts.
In theory, this means ChatGPT can convincingly do your academic tasks or even your social media, posing concerns for the potential redundancy of human input.
Why are schools blocking ChatGPT?
Euro News reports that schools in New York and Seattle have already banned ChatGPT on their servers. The tool has set records for the fastest-growing user base as it reached 100 million active users only two months following its launch.
Forbes reports that it has already ‘gone beyond the basics’ by passing medical exams and other University-level tests. The AI can even be used to warn against itself, The Associated Press used it on a message of a school principal instructing students not to use the tool, he said:
“DO NOT USE CHATGPT OR ANY OTHER AUTOMATED WRITING TOOL FOR SCHOOL PAPERS. THIS IS CHEATING AND WILL NOT BE TOLERATED. IF YOU ARE CAUGHT USING CHATGPT OR ANY OTHER AUTOMATED WRITING TOOL FOR SCHOOL PAPERS, THERE WILL BE SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES.”
In response, ChatGPT (possibly) enhanced the quality and temperament of the message by converting it to: “As a general rule, it is not appropriate to use ChatGPT or any other automated writing tool for school papers, as it is considered cheating and does not benefit the student in the long run.”
OpenAI recently said in a ‘human-written statement’ that they intended to cooperate with educators as they learn how people are experimenting with their artificial intelligence tool in real life.
Can we distinguish ChatGPT from human writing?
OpenAI’s CEO, Sam Altman, wrote on Twitter in December: “ChatGPT is incredibly limited, but good enough at some things to create a misleading impression of greatness.”
However, ChatGPT itself when asked for advice on distinguishing between human or robot written text by the Associated Press, wrote: “To determine if something was written by a human or an AI, you can look for the absence of personal experiences or emotions, check for inconsistency in writing style, and watch for the use of filler words or repetitive phrases. These may be signs that the text was generated by an AI.”
This advice is not only very sound but could easily be accepted as having been written by a human. Regardless, Altman maintains that “it’s a mistake to be relying on it for anything important right now.
“It’s a preview of progress; we have lots of work to do on robustness and truthfulness.”
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