ChatGPT is not your friend
Sure, ChatGPT can do your homework for you - but that doesn't mean you should use it
As human beings, we are programmed to take shortcuts. We’re inherently lazy. And the story is no different when it comes to our schoolwork.
Last fall, educational institutions around the world grappled with a sudden surge in cases of academic dishonesty with the launch of the powerful AI system, ChatGPT.
If you haven’t heard of the viral AI yet, you’ve likely been living under a rock.
ChatGPT is a chatbot that can perform a range of different functions based on prompts for free. It can solve that tough physics problem you spent hours working through, or better yet, write your next 5-page essay in a matter of seconds.
As busy university students, it’s undoubtedly tempting to use ChatGPT to make our lives easier and buy us time that we feel is better spent elsewhere. But with growing concerns for the fate of education, we need to weigh the risks and benefits of using ChatGPT.
Though ChatGPT is ridiculously skilled, the AI has some critical limitations. For one, ChatGPT’s knowledge is outdated. The chatbot can only process information from 2021 or earlier. And the AI is imperfect in other ways as well.
Because the AI was trained on large sets of human-generated text, it does not have access to all of the knowledge held by humans. As a result, it can make mistakes. For instance, the chatbot may experience issues with accuracy, grammar, and biased content. ChatGPT also fails to provide references for the information it generates, leaving users to fact check the content.
Beyond its structural imperfections, using ChatGPT robs you of a valuable learning experience. AI cannot teach you essential skills, like critical thinking and communication, which translate to the real world. It detracts from our motivation to learn, creativity, and ability to express ourselves. As dull and unoriginal as it sounds, it’s true. These are skills and qualities you need to succeed in any career, and more importantly, in life. When you choose to cheat on an assignment, you miss out on an important opportunity to improve your competencies and knowledge.
But quite frankly, you’ve already heard this spiel enough times to know that an education, or rather an honest education, matters.
At the end of the day, all we truly care about is passing our classes so that one day we might hold a really expensive piece of paper that validates our years of blood, sweat, and tears. Yet, it’s surprising to think that students are willing to jeopardize years of hard work over for a few assignments.
AI output detectors are getting better at their jobs. In fact, Turnitin can now detect AI-generated text. This means you likely won't be able to get away with using ChatGPT to cheat. And getting caught for academic misconduct holds rash consequences. It can leave a permanent stain on your transcript and reputation, lead to expulsion or suspension, and even destroy your opportunities for higher education or certain careers.
These are things to consider about before you obliviously choose to use the chatbot for your next assignment. But don’t take my word for it. Just ask ChatGPT.
This article is the first of a two-part series. Stay tuned for the next article on the future of education in a world with growing AI.