Jessica Israel ’24, Lina Boughton ’25 and Minh Phan ’24
Technology continues to break barriers, and ChatGPT is the new technological showstopper! ChatGPT uses natural language processing to emulate human speech in response to prompts. It has a variety of features, from generating stories to brainstorming ideas and answering questions. While ChatGPT is known by many through social media or heard through the grapevine, do you know the AI’s history?
ChatGPT (Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer) was released on November 30, 2022. The AI is created by research company OpenAI, whose mission is to develop safe AI for the benefit of humanity. It was trained using supervised and reinforcement learning and is now trained by users. Its main feature is supposed to mimic human conversation, yet it can debug computer programs, compose music, author stories, translate languages and more. Jessica Israel ’24, finds the capabilities of ChatGPT impressive! While there has been debate on whether AI will take over human jobs, she believes that there can be a balance and that AI can be used as a tool to enhance jobs and efficiency. Real estate agents use it to write property summaries, marketers use it to draft advertisement scripts and educators use it to create lesson plans. However, even though it often creates quality work, it still needs to be reviewed and edited by experts.
It’s also useful for students! You can ask it to help you debug code and explain the process, learn how to solve math problems and plan out your work. Graphic and UX designer, Minh Phan ’24 has been constantly searching for a more effective design workflow. Using this tool, a designer can outline their design process more effectively, simply by consulting ChatGPT about what suite of research methods is suitable for a particular industry, what components should be included in a poster or how one organization could present a better hero section on their website. By exploiting the benefits of ChatGPT in speeding up the brainstorming process of her design project, Minh has met her KPI much faster than expected in a recent website design initiative for a food-waste-prevention organization she is volunteering for.
Student technology assistant Lina Boughton ’25 tested ChatGPT in conjunction with Microsoft PowerPoint Design AI to create a professional-looking presentation. She prompted ChatGPT to give her an outline of a 10-slide presentation about itself. Then, asked for specific information for each slide. Lastly, she input the information onto the PowerPoint and used PowerPoint Design AI to create the aesthetics. In less than an hour, she had a fully finished presentation and all she had to do was enter prompts!
The results make instructors worry that ChatGPT will cause rampant academic misconduct. However, if Lina used her presentation in class, her instructor would quickly be able to tell that she hadn’t researched herself. Furthermore, she tested ChatGPT’s ability to write fiction, TV show episodes, song lyrics and even D&D items. She noticed that it has no ability to produce unique responses on its own – it worked best when supplied with a well-formed prompt and let it fill in the blanks. On the other hand, a computer science study group expressed that the bot helped explain more complex topics. They added that they could not depend on ChatGPT entirely for passing exams based on assignment structure, but it was a useful tool.
Upon reflection, it will take much effort to ensure that ChatGPT contributes the very least to academic dishonesty, yet, it is an incredible advancement in technology.