ChatGPT for the Education Sector
AI feels like something from a not-too-distant future but it’s here and it’s gaining traction. Chatbot technology has the potential to revolutionise the way students learn, interact, and engage with their course materials.
While the benefits of Chatbot technology can be seen in various aspects of education, there are potential drawbacks that must also be considered.
This article explores the pros and cons of the rise of ChatGPT and it’s affects on the education sector.
What is ChatGPT?
Chatbots and conversational AI are not new. These systems have been around for a while now, but ChatGPT is different. It’s being hailed as one of the most natural-sounding chatbots and it’s returning better information from it’s prompts than other systems.
ChatGPT is an open-source natural language processing (NLP) chatbot developed by OpenAI. It is based on the GPT-3 language model and was designed to generate natural-sounding conversations in response to user queries. Unlike traditional chatbots, ChatGPT can understand and respond to more complex queries and generate more natural sounding conversations.
But how good is it?
We have all seen hilariously misguided stories, songs and film plots written by AI shared on Twitter and Reddit. How good are these AI systems really if they’re sending out these stories that don’t even make grammatical sense?
We asked ChatGPT how good it actually is. The answer:
ChatGPT is a very capable language model. It has been trained on a massive amount of text data and can generate human-like responses to a wide variety of prompts. It can also perform tasks such as language translation and summarization. However, it is not perfect and may make errors or produce responses that are not entirely relevant to the prompt. Additionally, it does not have the ability to understand context as well as a human would.
ChatGPT and higher education?
ChatGPT can be used in higher education to support student learning.
For instance, ChatGPT can be used to support student learning in technical courses. Students can ask questions about programming topics, and ChatGPT can provide automated answers to their questions.
It can be used to help students better understand course material by providing example solutions to problems or by providing suggestions for further research. ChatGPT can also be used to help instructors by reducing the amount of time they need to spend on general tasks, allowing them to focus on providing more personalised instruction.
Assuming it is used with the best intentions and not as a way to cheat the system it could be used to:
- Create an outline for an essay
- Rewrite paragraphs that are not working
- Gather summaries of research papers
- Create lesson plans
- Analysis data and identify patterns and trends
- Provide feedback on your writing
- Create frequently asked Q and As
- Generate quiz questions on a topic
- Create teaching materials
These AI writing tools have so many applications, from essay prompts to paragraph rewrites, frequently asked questions and answers, to research suggestions. Let’s unpack some of the pros and cons below.
Pros of ChatGPT
- ChatGPT can find and filter information from all over the internet.
- The system can speed up a student’s writing process.
- ChatGPT can help to simplify concepts so students can better understand them.
- The system can help to provide additional research materials or feedback for students.
- It can save the trainer’s time and resources.
Cons of ChatGPT
There are some cons to the system as well.
- ChatGPT may not be able to effectively answer complex questions regarding specific subjects, such as mathematics or science, due to it’s limited understanding of higher education material.
- Using the system could decrease student engagement in the classroom, as they may rely too heavily on the system to answer their questions.
- It may not be able to provide accurate information or advice, which could lead to incorrect or incomplete answers being provided.
- ChatGPT does not consider the context of a user’s questions, meaning it may provide irrelevant or inappropriate answers.
- The ChatGPT system has displayed some instances of bias, particularly racial bias.
Interview with an AI
Let’s get to know the ChatGPT in it’s own words. The following is a series of questions and prompts posed to the AI and the responses it gave.
What are the ethical implications of students using ChatGPT to write their assignments?
The ethical implications of students using this system to write their assignments are that they may be tempted to plagiarise or not put in the necessary effort to research and write the assignment.
Additionally, the use of the system may lead to the development of skills that are not as strong as those acquired through traditional methods of research and writing.
Finally, the use of this system may undermine the value of a student’s academic work if it is too heavily reliant on the use of automated writing tools.
How can ChatGPT be used in higher education?
ChatGPT can be used in higher education in a variety of ways. For example, it can be used to create virtual study groups, provide personalised tutoring and feedback, and to facilitate collaboration and communication between students, instructors, and other stakeholders.
Additionally, it can be used for automated assessment, grading, and feedback. Finally, it can be used to create interactive learning experiences by providing natural language interactions with digital content.
What kind of bias has ChatGPT shown?
ChatGPT has been shown to have bias against non-binary gender identities, racial minorities, and people with disabilities. It has also been shown to have a bias in favour of white, heterosexual males.
Should people be worried about AI such as ChatGPT?
It is important to be aware of the potential risks associated with AI technology such as ChatGPT. AI can be used to manipulate or spread false information, so it is important to be mindful of the sources of information that you rely on when using ChatGPT.
Additionally, it is important to ensure that any AI technology you use is secure and has appropriate privacy measures in place to protect your data.
This technology certainly has it’s applications in the world of education, but concerns regarding plagiarism and students abusing the ChatGPT system are rife in the educational community. The biggest concern is that students will use this system to cheat on exams, write essays in their entirety and avoid learning the content of courses.
While the ChatGPT system can write answers and essays, it does struggle with more complex questions. It’s not always correct in it’s simple answers either, occasionally pulling the wrong information in it’s responses.
Even CEO of OpenAI Sam Altman has cautioned against relying on it for factual responses. He said in a recent tweet, “ChatGPT is incredibly limited but good enough at some things to create a misleading impression of greatness. It’s a mistake to be relying on it for anything important right now.”
You can check out ChatGPT here.