by Mujtaba Hussain
SRINAGAR: Alarm bells have started ringing in the academic campuses world over as artificial intelligence can do more than what students are required to do in classrooms, at home and while writing their examinations. Though the technology is still in its infancy stage, the value addition could threaten the jobs of millions of people across diverse sectors.
ChatGPT, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) chat platform can write essays, legal briefs, scripts, emails, poetry, jokes, computer programmes, business proposals, complex code, debug your code, clear exams, do worksheets, write healthy recipes, and can write all types of comprehensive and error-free content among other complex things.
Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT) can get you all the things you could ask for in a simple chat. It is the AI platform integrated with the messaging platform. The open access to the app can lure students to do their homework and assignments through the AI platforms, which poses a great challenge to the ethics surrounding this advanced technology.
The text-based AI Chatbot is the creation of the San-Francisco based Start-up called ‘Open-AI’. The ChatGPT interface allows users to converse with the AI model in English and many other languages. It is almost like talking with a human. It gives answers within seconds one on one just by prompting a question/query/phrase.
The implications of ChatGPT are stark for educators, academicians, editors, researchers, scriptwriters, screenwriters, and content writers among others. They are worrisome and in severe despondency because of the fear of being jobless due to this advanced AI tool.
This text-generation tool poses a great threat to the education sector as the educationists fear that students will never need to learn to write, as they can merely lean on ChatGPT.
According to the Brookings Institute, “ChatGPT is the latest challenge to the creative human intellect. It is a conversational bot responsive to users’ questions in ways that allows it to search large databases in a fraction of a second.”
Schools and colleges all over the world have been banning this software because of its heavy usage in writing homework and assignments. New York City’s Department of Education imposed a ban on ChatGPT immediately after its passing of complex exams surfaced on social networking sites. It achieved almost fifty per cent in one of the difficult medical exams called the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE). In another separate case, ChatGPT gained more than average in the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton MBA exam. It also cleared the US law exam with an ample score to qualify.
Indian educators, technologists, and entrepreneurs are also in the doldrums because of the rising implications of the ChatGPT. Could it replace the role of a teacher? Could the intelligent Chat bot add to rising dropout rates in schools and colleges, are among the intriguing questions they are looking for? Rashtreeya Vidyalaya (RV) University in the technology capital of India, Bengaluru is the first Indian University that banned ChatGPT on its campus. French, German, and Australian universities are also planning to put a blanket ban on the usage of ChatGPT inside the campus.
Although there is a significant discussion about the potential misuse of ChatGPT, the prevalent among them is its use by students to write essays, assignments, and other assigned homework.
Many educationists propose that AI should be seen as an opportunity rather than a hindrance in education. George Siemen, an international expert on AI suggests, “Educators should focus on how AI can be used to improve education. Chatbots like ChatGPT are innovations that are here to stay, so rather than banning them, it is far more beneficial for educators to explore and experiment with such tools to get a better sense of what can be done with them to generate better ideas.”
The panic about the technological threat to education is not new, but every advancement in technology proved to be a blessing in disguise and improved the ways of learning new things. Advancements in learning technology from slate, chalk, and paper, to digital pages and three-dimensional simulation videos all were previously called the death of learning, which proved otherwise. Therefore, panicking and saying ‘you cannot touch the technology’ is not a way out. It is how we get used to it that will be valuable to students and teachers, reported The Age.
Even though Open AI also released anti-cheating software called ‘AI-text Classifier’ that could identify the AI-produced text by studying the hiding cryptographic signals, called watermarks, its effectiveness is still doubtful because it does not cite the source of information and thus there is no linkage formation between the reader and the writer.
ChatGPT has amassed five million users within five days of its release. It gained a hundred million monthly active users only two months into its launch and became the fastest-growing consumer application in history. Thus, it is a revolution that we cannot ignore or run away from.
There is no doubt that Chatbots like ChatGPT will increase the domain and scope of knowledge but the question remains whether students will continue to learn the basic skills and whether this technology will really become the next big thing.