How Does it Work? What Can it Do?
I have previously blogged about how ChatGPT is affecting the way students learn and raises questions about cheating. It seems as though virtually everyone in education is talking about “ChatGPT.” It’s a potential game-changer for the way students research and write papers. It can also help with homework, writing skills, and to provide feedback. Some claim it’s just another learning tool and should be viewed as an additional resource for students. Others believe it is just another way to cheat the system, albeit through AI. There is a real risk of plagiarism as well. Moreover, it can stifle critical thinking and original thought.
The 'Black Box' Effect
An article in The Wall Street Journal on February 25, 2023 that addresses the "Intellectual Revolution" explains how ChatGPT works. It sounds like a 'black box' effect to me that makes it difficult for a novice to understand what it does and how it does it.
ChatGPT is a chatbot developed by the research and deployment company OpenAI and launched November 30, 2022. In a very short time, it has demonstrated the ability to provide detailed answers to complex questions while using the information it processes and feedback from users to improve its ability to respond.
The new technology is known as generative artificial intelligence; GPT stands for Generative Pre-Trained Transformer. ChatGPT is now able to converse with humans. As its capacities become broader, they will redefine human knowledge, accelerate changes in the fabric of our reality, and reorganize politics and society.
Generative artificial intelligence presents a philosophical and practical challenge. AI-enabled systems can store and distill a huge amount of existing information, in ChatGPT’s case much of the textual material on the internet and a large number of books—billions of items. Holding that volume of information and distilling it is beyond human capacity.
Philosophically, is it right for students to use ChatGPT to complete assignments? How is that different from copying an answer from another source? How can the use of ChatGPT be monitored in the classroom, How might it affect workplace hiring and other activities?
Workplace Ethics Effects
According to the online website, Resume Builder, the question of how AI may affect jobs is paramount for many. The publicly accessible AI chatbot has many capabilities, including the ability to answer questions, create content, write code, and more.
In February 2023, ResumeBuilder.com surveyed 1,000 U.S. business leaders to see how many companies currently use or plan to use ChatGPT. The key findings were:
- 49% of companies currently use ChatGPT;
- 30% plan to use it; 85% of whom say they will start doing so within the next 6 months.
- 48% of companies using ChatGPT say it’s replaced workers
- 25% companies using ChatGPT have already saved $75k+
- 93% of current users say they plan to expand their use of ChatGPT
- 90% of business leaders say chatGPT experience is a beneficial skill for job seekers
Of companies that currently use ChatGPT, 66% use it for writing code, while 58% use it for copywriting/content creation, 57% for customer support, and 52% for creating summaries of meetings or documents.
The majority of companies also use ChatGPT to facilitate hiring; 77% say it helps them write job descriptions, 66% draft interview requisitions, and 65% respond to applicants.
Overall, according to the survey results, most business leaders are impressed by ChatGPT’s work. Fifty-five percent say the quality of work produced by ChatGPT is ‘excellent,’ while 34% say it’s ‘very good.’
Employers, who have long used AI to screen potential employees, aren't always disqualifying applicants who use ChatGPT, but they are rushing to figure out how to assess candidates who may be using the tool to give them an edge.
“There is a lot of excitement regarding the use of ChatGPT,” says Chief Career Advisor Stacie Haller. “Just as technology has evolved and replaced workers over the last several decades, ChatGPT may impact the way we work. As with all new technologies, companies’ use of ChatGPT will be continuously evolving, and we are only at the onset.”
On March 15, 2023, Open AI launched a new version of its AI technology, saying it was more powerful and predictable than previous versions and capable of analyzing images and handling much larger blocks of text. The updated chatbot, GPT-4, is more "creative and collaborative" than previous versions when it comes to tasks like composing songs or writing screenplays.
Most people do not understand how ChatGPT works. Don’t worry. You are not alone. I’ll continue to inform you about its uses and challenges as the learning system evolves. Please share your comments if you have knowledge of ChatGPT and how it has affected you in the workplace.
Blog posted by Dr. Steven Mintz, The Ethics Sage, on March 21, 2023. You can sign up for Steve’s newsletter and learn more about his activities on his website (https://www.stevenmintzethics.com/). and by following him on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/StevenMintzEthics and on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/ethicssage. Check out professional recommendations on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/steven-mintz-aka-ethics-sage-98268126/.