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Ric Raftis Consulting

ChatGPT: The Pros and Cons of AI in Education and Beyond

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Introduction

There is no doubt that ChatGPT has taken the world by storm, almost unlike any other release of a platform in history. It is difficult to obtain numbers, but it has certainly moved into the mainstream and is mentioned in several news broadcasts, both on and offline, every day. The reaction to its introduction have been mixed, particularly in the education sector and this article will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using the technology, not only in education, but in the broader environment as well.

ChatGPT Banned

The bans introduced on using ChatGPT have been widespread. At this stage, this includes almost every Australian State except for South Australia. In that State, AI will be allowed except for graded exams [[Mobile phones banned at SA public high schools, but AI like ChatGPT allowed – ABC News]]. These bans are not unique to Australia however, with New York institutions banning the technology [[ChatGPT banned from New York City public schools’ devices and networks (nbcnews.com)]]. There is also a story that StackOverflow, the programmer’s goto space for help, has also banned ChatGPT responses because at times it has been wrong or inaccurate [[Why posting GPT and ChatGPT generated answers is not currently acceptable – Help Center – Stack Overflow]].

Are These Bans Justified?

ChatGPT, and other similar technologies are so new that there are no frameworks around their use. The bans of course could be regarded as a knee jerk reaction to a progressive world. StackOverflow, to their credit, have said that the ban is temporary. At least they are reviewing the structure around AI’s use on the platform and how it can be used for good.

In other circumstances, I believe the bans are justified if the technology is being used to cheat or pass of the work of AI as one’s own. Not only is that dishonest, but in my view it is also unethical.

Where is AI of Benefit?

The technology as it exists at the moment has remarkable benefits and provides only a glimpse of what may be coming in the future. When it comes to academic work, or even the writing of an article, AI can help by simply providing assistance in the area of creativity.

As an example, I offer the tool contained here that I wrote for the creation of outlines. Such a tool provides no text of any benefit other than headings. Anyone using it will still need to fill in the details. Tools such as these for creating outlines can be very useful in suggesting areas you can write about that you may not have thought of when planning your article.

Try the tool out and see what you think. It is simply intended to demonstrate the positive potential of AI tools. There are obviously many, many more prompts that could be developed.

Are There Any Analogies to GPT?

As a matter of fact, I believe that there are analogies. I can remember when electronic calculators were allowed in schools and many people bemoaned the fact that students would lose the ability to do basic arithmetic and mathematics. That argument aside, I do not see anyone sitting down today with pen and paper and working through a mathematical problem. Nor do I see administration staff hand writing letters to customers. Seriously, is artificial intelligence any different to these use cases?

Conclusion

ChatGPT and any other sort of artificial intelligence is nothing more than a tool that can be both used and abused. It always seems to be the abuses of any tool that grab the headlines and cause reactions instead of measured responses. Artificial Intelligence is not going to go away. It is going to grow and improve and offer greater assistance to human kind. The balance will be to consider the ethical and moral use of such tools for the greater good and deploy them in a way that provides growth for us all.

I should add that this entire article was written by a human, but the title was suggested by ChatGPT based on the content of what is written here.

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