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How ChatGPT, a Software Developed By OpenAI, May Affect The Way We Learn

By Ainsley Jay

On November 30th, 2022 ChatGPT was launched by the company OpenAI. This open AI generated software has generated millions of users in a short period of time of it being launched. ChatGPT was programmed to answer questions in a conversational way. It can be used to help students on essays or any sort of school work.

When you ask it a question it will respond to you with a typed up  complete, simple, and factual answer. You can even ask follow up questions or to clarify something. ChatGPT offers an extensive amount of tools such as asking it to write a poem and converting certain text into Shakespere or in the style of writing of other writers. There are some limitations: it lacks knowledge about events after 2021.  

When it comes to something like ChatGPT, using it could prevent us from using our critical thinking skills . Students could easily cheat on their homework using ChatGPT and use it to prevent us from putting in the required work on essays. This can cause teachers to question if their students are putting the required effort.  

Although ChatGPT could even help us learn about a topic we are interested in. It types up simple and factual answers that could help us clearer understand a certain topic. ChatGPT can also help students figure out  a gray area or something that needs explaining in school.

The complexity and intelligence that goes with the software could be an educational threat.

Is ChatGPT good for a school according to English teachers at WMS? I asked three teachers what they thought about ChatGPT. 

Ms.Duesterberg, a 7th grade English teacher said, “I think students need to teach themselves how to write an essay. Essay writing is  a way of thinking, a way to organize your ideas. If your brain doesn’t learn how to do it. You’re at a disadvantage going forward in your life. That’s the downside.” Ms.Duesteberg said,  “Students need to learn how to do it themselves. The positive side is if you were given  a task of solving a complex problem, and you need to organize a bunch of information, then ChatGPT can do that organization for you, and you can use this to help solve your problem.”

Ms. Anderson, an 8th grade English teacher, told me that she feels like she can still detect ChatGPT in kid writing, though she worries how it might cause a lack of motivation for kids learning. 

I am concerned about having such a powerful technology that all students have access to and there will be a learning curve where teachers will have to be really creative on how to motivate students to use their own writing. Some of these newer technologies are so powerful that at some point they can write a convincing essay. As an English teacher I can still detect whether something is written by ChatGPT,” Ms.Anderson, an 8th grade English teacher said. 

Ms.Dirmeikis an 8th grade English teacher mentions how ChatGPT has abilities that we as humans don’t have and what could happen as we use the technology more. 

“Of course, I understand that this technology is everywhere already, and I want to embrace tools that allow us to be more expressive and connected to one another. There probably isn’t anyone among us who hasn’t leaned on autocorrect or even auto reply/predictive text from time to time. Is this different? If it is, how so?”Ms.Dirmeikis said. “More than ever, it is important for every one of us to think critically about how technology shapes—and continues to shape—the way we interact with one another. My interest in words and ideas is, at its core, a deep curiosity about how other people see and think about life. I’m not quite sure how ChatGPT helps me learn about other human beings, and that feels like a huge loss.”

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