ChatGPT Presents Challenges, Opportunities for Education

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A portion of an essay written by ChatGPT on the topic of Chattanooga.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)- An emerging artificial intelligence that anyone can use is soon to rapidly change the way we think about language and its usage.

ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence language model, which in simpler terms means it can pull from existing data and sources to create answers to any questions you may ask it.

This sounds somewhat similar to a search engine like Google or Yahoo, but unlike those services, ChatGPT can have a full on conversation with its users, and it can do things like write an essay, solve coding issues in engineering, and dissect the meaning of songs and poems.

With the potential that this artificial intelligence, it is stirring much debate in the education world.

Leelila Strogov, founder and CEO of AtomicMind, a company who specializes in helping students navigate the college admissions process, says that, “I personally feel that it is integral for students to actually understand how these technologies work and how to approach and utilize them.”

Dr. Victoria Bryan, the Director of the Walker Center for Teaching and Learning at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC), says that, “For some departments it’s going to be a very exciting time. It’s going to be, “What we’ve finally been working on is finally coming to fruition. For some departments there is just an existential dread for how we assess student learning. And then there will be people in the middle.”

The amount of possibilities are endless. For example, we asked the AI to write a 500 word essay about why Chattanooga is the best city in Tennessee. Within a minute, the software spits out an essay talking about our natural beauty, attractions, and much more.

Some schools are hesitant to adopt this into their classrooms. Hamilton County Schools told News 12 in a statement that:

“This is an emerging technology, and we are currently in a posture of learning about its capabilities, potential uses, and possible pitfalls. Until we learn more, ChatGPT is blocked from use by students on District devices. A lot of study remains before HCS would consider using this technology in our classrooms. ”

Strogov believes that this tool can be an advancement for educators and students alike. She says that, “To me it’s about outsourcing the boring, the repetitive, and the obvious to a computer and leaving yourself to the truly creative, the truly original.”

The ramifications of the potential change in how teaching is approached goes well beyond the classroom.

Dr. Bryan wonders, “If a company can use AI Technology cost them 40 bucks a month, or whatever it’s going to end up costing them to produce copy, why would they hire a person? Then our challenge in higher education is going to be teaching students skills that make them valuable above and beyond what a machine can do.”

Dr. Bryan did say right now there has not been a specific guideline sent from the University of Tennessee system about this technology to her knowledge.

She mentioned that each department and professor are making their own judgements on how to use the technology.

In some cases, this technology is becoming an acceptable source to cite in papers on a case by case basis.

Chat GPT was created by Open AI, a company that specializes in artificial intelligence research and development.

That same company has also created its own plagiarism tool that educators can use.

Anyone can create an account on their website for free and try out Chat GPT for themselves.

Categories: Chattanooga, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News