Tue. Apr 23rd, 2024

Working smarter, not harder, is a goal that many in our generation look to achieve. ChatGPT is another example of that, the site has seen popularity these last couple of months because of its ability to write essays. The user would only need to enter a prompt, and the AI generator would generate a full-length essay. 

Naturally, high schoolers and college students around the country have been eager to try it out, but is the reward worth the risk? 

The internet is indifferent about it. Some say it’s a life saver, while others wish it never existed. Here at our university, it has some mixed reviews as well. I decided to get a professor’s point of view on ChatGPT. Speaking with professor Si Chen through email, he gave me his perspective on the site.

“In my opinion, ChatGPT is like the Internet and smartphones, just another useful tool. However, it can also become an issue in certain teaching scenarios. For example, in computer science departments, where coding competitions are held, the use of ChatGPT may make cheating easier. However, in my senior-level software security class, I find that ChatGPT can be a valuable tool for students to use to refine their lab reports and gain ideas for good scientific writing,” Dr. Chen commented. “Just like some professors don’t allow the use of cellphones in class or exams, the use of ChatGPT may also need to be restricted in certain situations. Ultimately, it depends on the context and how it is used.” 

Dr. Chen’s sentiment is one agreed with by a lot of other people I’ve talked to around the university, both professors and students. I want to personally thank Dr. Chen again for his statement. 

Andrew Tarantola of Engadget also spoke on how ChatGPT is affecting colleges as well. He writes, ‘’ChatGPT is raising hackles across academia as well. The text generator has notably passed the written portion of Wharton Business School’s entrance exam, along with all three parts of the US Medical Licensing exam. The response has been swift (as most panicked scramblings in response to new technologies tend to be) but widely varied. The New York City public school system took the traditional approach, ineffectually “banning” the app’s use by students, while educators like Dr. Ethan Mollick, associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s prestigious Wharton School, have embraced it in their lesson plans.”

In a past interview, Mollick said, “There is a lot of good stuff that we are going to have to do differently, but I think we could solve the problems of how we teach people to write in a world with ChatGPT,” Mollick told NPR in January. “The truth is, I probably couldn’t have stopped them even if I didn’t require it,” he added. Instead, Mollick has his students use ChatGPT as a prompt and idea generator for their essay assignments.”

Academia has been forced to adapt for several years now because of the internet and technology. One thing is for sure: sites like ChatGPT are only the beginning of ways to make work easier. 

Isaiah Ireland is a second-year Media and Culture major with a minor in Digital Marketing. II978280@wcupa.ed.

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