Getting Answers: ChatGPT’s possible impact on eduation and industries

A new artificial intelligence tool called ChatGPT has amazed the internet by solving complex math problems and churning out college essays.
Updated: Mar. 30, 2023 at 5:55 PM EDT
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AMHERST, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- A new artificial intelligence tool called ChatGPT has amazed the internet by solving complex math problems and churning out college essays, but the chatbot could have implications for education and other industries.

ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence language model created by OpenAI. Since it burst onto the scene in November, people have been using the chatbot to complete homework assignments, write code for websites, and even compose poetry.

“Write a poem with 12 lines that rhymes every line. It can do that. The poem might not be the best. It also might not be 12 lines long,” said UMass Amherst Assistant Computer Science Professor Mohit Iyyer.

“In fields of gold, the sun does rise, and paints the world with golden dyes. The breeze, it sings a soothing tune, as flowers sway beneath the moon...” the software gave as a response.

Iyyer said giving ChatGPT more complex prompts generates better results.

“Some people write things like, ‘You are the most knowledgeable history professor in this area,’ ‘You write extremely well with a full citation to other works,’ and so on. ‘Write me an essay about this,’” Iyyer added.

ChatGPT can churn out essays in seconds, which poses concerns about the implications in academia and prompting some universities to update their academic honesty policies.

“Here, using ChatGPT is not allowed unless explicitly permitted by an instructor and I think, in many schools, it’s similar. The problem is, as I was telling you, is that it’s not really feasible to know when a student has used ChatGPT and to what extent,” Iyyer explained.

Senior UMass student and computer science major Jay Kwon said artificial intelligence may breed distrust between students and professors.

“It’s kind of comical because you have this issue where students are using ChatGPT for their assignments and then on the other hand, at some institutions, people are finding that ‘Oh, we can use ChatGPT’ to grade assignments,’” Kwon said.

However, ChatGPT isn’t foolproof. Its responses can be nonfactual or confusing.

“It doesn’t work perfectly all the time, so you still have to know what you’re doing in order to fix whatever is wrong with it, but that said, it’s improving at a rapid rate,” Iyyer explained.

With constant user feedback, ChatGPT is getting better and better.

“Some jobs, possibly even many jobs, could be replaced with an AI. At this point, you still need human validation on the output of these things and that probably won’t change hopefully won’t change for a long time,” Iyyer noted.

Artificial intelligence hasn’t replaced my job yet, but when I asked ChatGPT to write a two-minute-long story for local television news and it did a convincing job.

“Good evening, I’m [name] and tonight, we have an exciting story to share with you about a new technological breakthrough that is changing the way we communicate with machines. Meet ChatGPT,” the program responded.

Prospective computer programmers, like Kwon, could be at risk as ChatGPT can write code and create apps and websites in record time.

“People are making fully featured websites in just a few minutes with this technology which, otherwise, might’ve taken days or weeks,” Iyyer said.

However, Iyyer said the new technology is also creating new jobs, like one listing from Boston Children’s Hopsital for a full-time position using ChatGPT in healthcare research studies. At UMass, Kwon said he’ll continue relying on his intellect to complete assignments and encourages other students paying thousands for an education to do the same.

“To just squander that away and just do all your assignments on ChatGPT, you will probably spend just as much time trying to fiddle around with that technology, instead of just doing the assignment,” Kwon said.