By Asmita Saha
Last November, OpenAI released a new tool: an artificial intelligence chatbot that can generate human-like writing instantly, no matter the topic. Recently, it was named as the fastest-growing internet service of all time, gaining 100 million active users in just two months.
ChatGPT is designed to write convincing arguments, debug code and even write scientific papers, deceiving scientists into thinking they were real. It works by responding to a prompt entered by the user and producing an in-depth text response based on the dataset that it was trained on. The bot was designed on data scraped from text-based corners of the internet, such as web pages, digitized books and even usernames on Reddit.
By design, ChatGPT generates a response that sounds similar to human-created text by predicting the words that will likely come next in a conversation and forming the next phrase or sentence. This form of a language model is known as a “Generative Pre-trained Transformer” or a GPT. The goal of a GPT is not to be accurate all the time, but instead to create text that can usefully respond to the prompt.
“The uses of ChatGPT could be endless. It seems to have no boundaries on what it can answer or help with. It can help students who are struggling in subjects because it can simplify or explain a topic better, but it also can harm a student’s mind as they don’t do the work and instead depend on the AI for everything,” sophomore Vishnu Suresh said.
The popularity of the chatbot has raised concerns about impacts on education and students misusing it, but the inaccuracy of the program has caused some students to reconsider exploiting its services.
"I used ChatGPT once for an AP European History SAQ (short-answer question) for fun, but it ended up giving me a really general statement. It didn't actually answer the question and [it] felt like a response that a student just wouldn’t write,” sophomore Jaimy Matthew said.
Part of a larger trend in generative AI, ChatGPT joins the ranks of image and text generators that cross the uncanny valley of machine creativity. Image generators, such as DALL-E (also developed by OpenAI), Midjourney and websites such as This Person Does Not Exist, all utilize information scraped from the internet to create original images and art.
“Personally as an artist, I’m not for AI taking over creative aspects of life. I know people have used ChatGPT for song lyrics and writing stories, and I think it has a lot of potential as a tool, but it shouldn’t be used to take over human jobs,” sophomore Nowra Khan said.
Artwork by Suha Tasfia
ChatGPT's human-like skill acts as both a tool and a weapon in replicating human experience.