By Owen Fugit
Media Production Editor
ChatGPT is a breakthrough in AI technology, there is no denying that. You have probably heard people mention this new tool that can supposedly do it all, from writing full essays and complex code, to giving advice and providing quick summaries of long articles, books, and even media like movies and TV shows. ChatGPT can do it all, but what does that mean for students? Teachers? Computer science majors and writers? ChatGPT has sparked a debate about the possibilities of AI and if we should even be making software capable of almost replacing entire industries.
I am definitely on the “AI is good” side of this debate. I really think that everyone in any profession can and should be making use of this amazing tool. While there are some cons to the tool, ChatGPT is good for students specifically, and students can use it in effective and responsible ways.
ChatGPT is a writing-focused tool, which means that students should be able to make the most out of their writing with ChatGPT. Example: imagine a student has an essay for an english class. The prompt would be something like “In “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, analyze the character development of Scout Finch and discuss the role of education in her growth as a person.” The student would then take the prompt to ChatGPT and ask it to write a five paragraph essay using this prompt. When I put this prompt into ChatGPT, it gave me a very well written essay, pasted here. The following is not my own writing, and was generated by an AI: In “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, Scout Finch is the narrator and protagonist of the story. Throughout the novel, Scout undergoes significant character development as she matures and learns about the complexities of the world around her.
At the beginning of the novel, Scout is a young and innocent child who is not yet aware of the racial prejudice and discrimination present in her community. She is also quick to fight and defend herself and her family, but as the novel progresses, Scout starts to understand the importance of empathy and compassion towards others. This is exemplified in her growing relationship with her father, Atticus Finch, as well as her interactions with other characters like Tom Robinson and Boo Radley.
Education plays a crucial role in Scout’s character development. Scout’s father, Atticus, is a lawyer and a moral compass for Scout and her brother Jem. Atticus instills in Scout the importance of education and critical thinking. He encourages her to read and question the world around her, which leads Scout to start understanding the racial prejudices and discrimination present in her community. Atticus also teaches Scout to put herself in other people’s shoes and to understand their perspectives, which helps her to become a more empathetic person.
Scout’s experiences in school also contribute to her character development. Scout struggles with understanding and accepting the racial prejudices present in her school, particularly the way her teacher, Miss Caroline, treats Tom Robinson’s case. However, Scout’s interactions with her classmates and her teacher help her to understand the different perspectives of the people in her community.
In conclusion, Scout Finch is a dynamic character who undergoes significant development throughout the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Education, specifically the guidance of her father Atticus and her experiences in school, plays a crucial role in her growth as a person. Through her experiences and interactions with others, Scout learns to understand the complexities of the world around her and to become a more empathetic and compassionate person.
A benefit to ChatGPT is that it still requires the student to think critically in making the essay, because ChatGPT will not add quotes or citations from a book or source. A student would ideally use ChatGPT’s essay as a jumping-off point to write their own essay. Students should understand that ChatGPT is not always right, and if a student does copy and paste ChatGPT’s essay, most of the time it will not meet their teacher’s standards, and may also be flagged as plagiarism. ChatGPT can also check an essay for errors and mistakes. Just paste your essay into the bot and ask it to “review” or “grade” your essay.
Let’s say you have a question about chemistry that you want answered before your test tomorrow. Example question: what is the difference between nuclear fission and fusion? You can put this question into ChatGPT and it will give you a professional answer in seconds. You can also add “in high school chemistry,” to the end of your question to get a more useful reply. Here is the answer I got for the question “What is the difference between nuclear Fission and fusion in high school chemistry?” Again, this is not my original writing, and was generated by an AI: Nuclear fission and nuclear fusion are both processes that involve the release of energy from the nuclei of atoms. However, they differ in the type of atom and the process used to release the energy.
Nuclear fission is the process of splitting the nucleus of a heavy atom, such as uranium or plutonium, into two or more smaller nuclei. This process releases a large amount of energy in the form of heat and light. In addition, fission also produces smaller atoms called fission products and one or more neutrons. Nuclear fission is used in nuclear power plants to generate electricity.
Nuclear fusion, on the other hand, is the process of combining the nuclei of two light atoms, such as hydrogen, to form a heavier atom. This process releases a large amount of energy in the form of heat and light. Nuclear fusion is the process that powers the sun and other stars. Nuclear fusion is not yet widely used as a source of energy on Earth because it requires very high temperatures and pressures to occur.
In summary, Nuclear fission is the process of splitting the nucleus of a heavy atom, whereas Nuclear fusion is the process of combining the nuclei of two light atoms. Both processes release a large amount of energy in the form of heat and light. Nuclear fission is used in nuclear power plants to generate electricity and Nuclear fusion is the process that powers the sun and other stars.
ChatGPT can also help students study by summarizing events, info, concepts and more. For example, imagine an AP US History student who is studying for a test on World War II. The student might use ChatGPT to summarize a primary source document from the era. The student would only have to find a text copy of this document, paste it into ChatGPT and ask it to summarize the information given. For my example, I used the McCollum Memo from October 1940, and the summary I received said “This memorandum is from October 1940 and is addressed to the Director. It discusses the situation in the Pacific and recommends action for the United States. The memorandum states that the United States is currently confronted by hostile Germany and Italy in Europe and by an equally hostile Japan in the Orient. Russia is currently neutral but may be expected to align with the Axis powers as they become more successful in Europe. The memorandum states that the United States has been providing increasing support to the British Empire in response to the success of the Axis powers. The memorandum claims that Germany and Italy have attempted to keep the United States indifferent to the conflict in Europe but their success has led to increased support for the British Empire. The memorandum goes on to state that Germany and Italy have adopted a policy of developing threats to U.S. security in other spheres of the world, such as revolutions in South and Central America and by stimulating Japan to further aggressions in the Far East. The memorandum concludes that Japan, Germany and Italy have recently concluded a military alliance directed against the United States.” The student could then use this summary to study faster and more efficiently. However, it is important to understand that studying from summaries is not always the best idea, as summaries may not capture the whole picture of the document.
So, with all of this in mind, I believe that ChatGPT can bring about a new age for students, teachers, and everyone else, allowing for more critical thinking, less time spent studying, and the ability to offset menial tasks. Many others including myself agree that ChatGPT has the potential to become a new variant of Google. Now, the only question left is if a human wrote this, or if it was all ChatGPT.