OpenAI’s text-generating ChatGPT has gone viral since the last month.
AI has generated a wide variety of output with the help of usable source code and vaguely believable short stories. Its unmatched ability to conjure up stories surprised academics who could not believe that such a level of essay writing was possible with the help of AI.
However, not every professor or lecturer agrees with the statement that “we’re witnessing the death of the college essay in real-time,” as one Twitter user argued.
In fact, it is not smart to use ChatGPT for your next college exam.
“I’m not a huge fan of the gloom and doom,” Pennsylvania State English professor Stuart Selber told Insider. “Every year or two, there’s something that’s ostensibly going to take down higher education as we know it. So far, that hasn’t happened.”
To Selber, it’s just history repeating itself.
“You can go back a couple of decades and find similar alarm over Word, Wikipedia, and the Internet in general,” he told Insider.
Selber argues that ChatGPT is simply bringing up the already existing information and arguments. People are blown away by the AI but they are not questioning the data.
College history professor Jacqueline Antonovich agreed, tweeting that the essay ChatGPT generated after she input a midterm essay prompt “would earn an F.”
“Probably an F- if that’s possible,” she added.
ChatGPT is hence not the most recommended way for college students to write their essays but it is still a meaningful resource for students.
University of Leeds lecturer Leah Henrickson told Insider that she sees a future for this kind of technology in the classroom, for instance, allowing non-native English speakers to express themselves.
“Our students know that these tools exist,” she said. “Our job is to help them use them critically.”