ChatGPT is changing everything. But it still has its limits

chatgpt illustration on futuristic background

Image: Getty Images / NurPhoto

Since its release in late November, ChatGPT has taken the world by storm. The chatbot’s advanced AI capabilities allow it to perform tasks entirely on its own, such as writing essays, emails and poems, writing and debugging code, even passing exams. Now that a chatbot can do what humans do so well in seconds, what does that mean for our future?

If you’ve had a chance to chat with an AI chatbot, you’ve probably been impressed with how knowledgeable and responsive it is in conversational ways. However, the chatbot is capable of doing much more, and its technical capabilities are tested daily.

Also: What is ChatGPT and why is it important? Here’s everything you need to know

Currently, ChatGPT is changing expectations and practices in education, as well as in professional areas related to skills such as coding. While some are sounding the alarm and others are making strides in their stride, tech analysts are still assessing how this tool will change things.

For example, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business used ChatGPT to take an MBA exam and scored a B to B-, impressing the professor with how he explained and managed his operations. it.

Professors at the University of Minnesota Law School gave ChatGPT four separate law school final exams and then blindly graded the tests, juggling it with actual student tests. . According to the official report, the bot passed with an average score of C+. Although this score is lower than the student’s score, it is impressive for a bot.

“We hope such language models will be important tools for practicing law in the future; we also hope they will be very useful to students who use them (legally or illegally). ) in law school exams,” said University of Minnesota Law School professors. in the white book about experiment.

As ChatGPT capabilities continue to be tested, one of the biggest concerns people have about ChatGPT is how it will affect the education system. Would its technical level make it obsolete to learn certain human skills? Will people study less in school because of the temptation to use ChatGPT to work for them?

Schools across the country have been taking steps to try to limit such cheating and neglect in the classroom. For example, the New York City Department of Education, block student and teacher access to ChatGPT on its networks.

This issue has also spread to higher education, with professors including rules for using ChatGPT in their syllabus. How professors handle AI depends on the individual, with some banning it outright and others adopting a fairly open-minded approach.

An associate professor at Wharton, Ethan Mollick, shared on LinkedIn his curriculum policy for ChatGPT, allowing it to be integrated into student work. “We don’t have many answers yet [about AI], but we should welcome discussion. And teach how to use tools responsibly,” says Mollick.

Just another tool in the toolbox?

According to Sid Nag, cloud services and technology analyst at Gartner, embracing the technologies that make AI really can help enrich student learning.

“It’s like saying, ‘Does computer use hinder the quality of people’s ability to add one and one plus two?’ No.”

One factor to remember when discussing AI is that many of the tasks it is capable of performing are tedious and time-consuming in nature. In many cases, performing these tasks does not add much value to the overall goal.

Also: How to start using ChatGPT

For example, if you are working on a large research project, writing an introduction to a paper or writing code is a very small part of the project, with a thorough analysis and explanation of that code at the forefront. .

Over time, ChatGPT’s underlying technologies will “significantly” automate many of the usual coding and writing tasks Rajeesh Kandaswamy, AI innovation analyst at Gartner, told ZDNET.

Kandaswamy points out, “However, there are a lot of creative and original ways of writing and coding that involve imagination, synthesis, and other complexities that won’t be easily solved in the short term with tools. this AI tool”.

Outside of the education system, people often worry about AI tools replacing human work. However, as advanced as these models are, they still require humans to produce precise output. AI chatbots are great at providing words or codes — but worse at knowing if it’s good or even accurate. Without human guidance from someone well versed in the subject, these tools would be much less useful.

“Just because you have a toolbox doesn’t mean you know how to fix a broken device, right?” Nag said.

A new job portfolio

In fact, the more these models grow, the more support they will need — creating demand for new jobs and even more research. If some of the heavy lifting tasks are eliminated, it’s likely that those roles will simply switch to others created to support AI.

Kandaswamy says ChatGPT and its underlying capabilities will have a lot of impact on some of these skills. “But these capabilities can also lead to new products and services directly through what these technologies do or based on what they do.”

Also: ChatGPT can code. Now researchers say it’s also good at fixing bugs

Ultimately, before we see any major changes in our daily lives, technology has to be reliable and proven to be error-free, and we’re not at the point yet. that — not yet.

“ChatGPT is error-prone and produces false output (hallucinations.) That doesn’t make it useless, but it makes it unreliable at the moment,” continued Kandaswamy. “We will require other support, testing, and quality control mechanisms to use it at a scale where quality and accuracy are important.”

The future of synthetic AI sources like ChatGPT is promising and has the potential to dramatically change the way we do things. Right now, we might be at the same point decades ago when the Internet was first introduced: a lot of potential but still a long way to go. And while tools like ChatGPT are opening up new possibilities, they’re far from perfect.

Kandaswamy said: “Yes, this is a revolution and I wouldn’t be surprised if it crosses the internet to impact business and society. Only time will tell. We are in the early days. “.


ZDNet’s Monday intro is our opening for the week on technology, written by members of our editorial team.



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