The popular AI chatbot ChatGPT from OpenAI has been making headlines in education as a potentially ground-breaking tool for promoting learning and growth. It can be an excellent tool for students who want to increase their knowledge and comprehension because of its remarkable capacity to produce imaginative and credible solutions to any challenge or question. Yet, because ChatGPT has the capability to produce biased and false information, its use as a tool for educational writing is far more limited than advertised. ChatGPT’s is availability to everyone has sparked worries about how ChatGPT can be used inappropriately in classrooms and the possible harm it may be bring to pupils, including reducing their ability to think critically, which has profound implications for the health of Democracy.
Although the chatbot offers several advantages, it also has some serious drawbacks that must not be forgotten. ChatGPT is unable to fully comprehend the nuanced nature of spoken and written human language. Valerie Hudson, a university professor at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University says that “ChatGPT writes on the level of sophistication of about a sixth grader… scraping the vast amount of online knowledge to do so.” It is just taught to produce words depending on input, but it lacks the capacity to fully understand the meaning of those words. This indicates that any answers it elicits are probably going to be superficial and devoid of depth and understanding.
ChatGPT can’t be used in circumstances when accuracy and dependability are crucial because of its limitations. For instance, utilising ChatGPT to generate answers for tests or homework assignments may result in students obtaining inaccurate information or submitting work that has been already published, or in other words, plagiarism. Their academic performance and future success may suffer significantly as a result of this.
Moreover, relying too much on ChatGPT could inhibit the ability to think critically. As Hudson stated, “It’s hard not to see a post-literate Western society as the advent of a new type of Dark Ages.” Instead of conducting independent investigation and thought, students will grow overly reliant on the chatbot to provide them the answers. Their capacity to think critically and creatively, which are essential for success in the workplace and for a functioning democracy, will be hampered as a result.
“It’s hard not to see a post-literate Western society as the advent of a new type of Dark Ages.”
Although ChatGPT has the potential to support learning and development, the risks currently outweigh the benefits. The chat-bot is unsuitable for situations where accuracy and reliability are crucial because of its tendency for providing misleading information and its ignorance of the subtleties of human language, much of AI generated text is quite generic. Additionally, too much dependence on ChatGPT may impair one’s capacity for critical thought. As a result, educators should be cautious while implementing ChatGPT in the classroom and give top priority to encouraging students to engage in independent research and thinking. In the end, ChatGPT can be a useful tool for fostering learning and intellectual development with proper application and thought.