The mantra of ChatGPT has recently taken over the internet. Many people all over the world are quickly diving into it, experimenting, and typing in whatever questions they have—from mundane and comic to technology and business. To some, ChatGPT is here to replace giant search engines like Google because you can ask questions and get answers in such an organized and practical manner.
…but come to think of it, what is ChatGPT?
ChatGPT is a type of the GPT (Generative Pre-training Transformer) language model, developed by OpenAI, a research organization that was founded in 2015 with the aim of advancing artificial intelligence in a way that is safe and beneficial to humanity. The project is funded by multiple sources, including private donations, grants, and partnerships with companies. Some of the major backers of OpenAI include Microsoft, Khosla Ventures, and Reid Hoffman’s charitable foundation. The GPT model was designed to generate human-like text by predicting the next word in a sequence based on the words that came before it. ChatGPT extends this capability by adding a chat-like interface, allowing it to participate in conversational exchanges with humans.
To use ChatGPT, a user enters a prompt or question, and the model generates a response based on its understanding of the context and content of the conversation. Based on the input received thus far, the response is generated by predicting the next most likely words. The model can be fine-tuned for specific tasks or domains, such as customer service or language translation, by training it on large amounts of data specific to that task. Since its launch, this model has proven its uniqueness in various ways—from answering business-related questions to rendering advice, recommending products, and providing guidance equal to what an expert would do. It has written book outlines, poems across different genres, and even answered some of the existential questions that pester humanity. Its ability to perform these functions could be an added advantage for learning beyond the classroom or be a great resource for teachers (instructors) during learning activities.
However, some concerns have been raised regarding this trend. In education, for example, some teachers think this may hinder students’ personal commitment to learning [particularly] writing. If they are given a take-home writing assignment, they could easily use ChatGPT prompts to get the assignment done—in which case, the aim and objective of learning have been defeated.
“Students will think and use this chatbot as if it is a know-it-all,” says Austin Ambrose, an Idaho middle school teacher. “Because it’s a technology that’s creating these things that sound really legitimate, they’ll assume it’s legitimate and take it at face value.” Whitney Shashou, founder and advisor at educational consultancy Admit NY, has this to say, “With a tool like this at their fingertips, it could muddy the waters when evaluating a student’s actual writing capabilities because you’re giving kids potentially a tool where they could misrepresent their understanding of a prompt.”
Given that we live in a time where the majority of learners are digital natives, there is a greater likelihood that most students will understand these models ahead of their teachers. Education, as I often argue, is a fundamental human right. It’s a pragmatic way of modeling behaviors and properly initiating younger generations into society. But here I am again confronted with the question: What is education in a technology-driven world? I think these are questions begging for answers from education practitioners—researchers and policymakers alike.
To think of the impact of the ChatGPT model on our conversations (social discussions and emotional transactions) as human beings is another matter of concern for me. I therefore directed this question to ChatGPT to see its perspective on the matter.
I have been thinking about human social discuss and emotional transaction. What do you think this would look like with technology like ChatGPT in place?
…If ChatGPT were used in a social context, it could potentially facilitate discussions and emotional transactions between people by generating responses that are more similar to those that a human might make. However, it is important to note that ChatGPT is a machine learning model and is not capable of experiencing emotions in the same way that humans do. As such, it may not be able to fully replicate the emotional complexity of human social interactions…
Although this model has been used for a variety of purposes, on ChatGPT, an entire business model, complete with marketing strategies and plans, could (has) been created. In fact, the emergence of this technology could probably lead to some people losing their jobs unless they skill up. Over time, it appears that the human workforce is always at the mercy of [New] technology. The emergence of new technologies often poses a threat to the job security of the human community. As new technology renders some job positions obsolete, new jobs are created, which sometimes necessitate the acquisition of new skills. As of now, artificial intelligence would enable an individual to fill multiple roles. Herein lies the fear of most people across industries such as marketing, education, design, writing, etc.
But in the face of these uncertainties, all I see is a movement that is driving us back to rediscovering our uniqueness as the Community of Humans; a place where our jobs no longer define us, earnings, colors, or race; not based on performance because, perhaps, technology can do it better than us. What distinguishes us as human beings is not our ability to develop, manipulate, or interact with systems, but our common Source of existence and conception.
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” (Gen. 1:26 NKJV)
Acknowledging the attributes we all have in common with God and seeing them reflected in the lives of our neighbors is a revolution that can never be run over by technological advancement.
Is this where “Artificial Intelligence” technology is taking us back?