Written by Priscilla Doran, guest writer
DAYTON, TN – The Open-AI powered chatbot “Chat.GPT” is taking the world by storm. Set up as a conversation, the Siri-like technology helps users research, create content and solve problems. The platform specializes in natural language communication, designed to help users understand concepts, generate creative ideas and begin the research process. As with all technology, Chat.GPT has pros and cons.
At Bryan College, professors have been learning about the technology since its release in December 2022, with the consensus that it has benefits and drawbacks for student learning.
“I think it’s gonna have applications around research, more than anything. It can be very, very helpful for getting quick and accurate overview information,” said Dr. Daniel Gleason. And as a professor, he has found Chat.GPT helpful for narrowing down classroom reading material. “I’ve heard it described as a really smart coworker,” Dr. Gleason said.
Lynn Russell, professor of English, discovered Chat.GPT through a fellow professor and believes it is important to address the technology in class, particularly how it can be used, particularly how it can be used ethically. “I’m integrating it into my course, College Writing II. We’re doing an essay that asks students their position on the ethics of Chat.GPT in education and their potential careers,” Russell said.
As a natural language program, Chat.GPT has noteworthy implications for the field of English. Although not much is known about how the technology will impact our language, Dr. Gleason compared it to the printing press, which had a standardizing effect on the English language.
“The Lord has given us not a spirit of fear, but a sound mind. There’s nothing new under the sun, so let’s use a sound mind and think through this ethically, responsibly, that’s how we should always be approaching writing regardless of Chat.GPT or not,” Russell said.
Chat.GPT comes with a host of possibilities and problems, so using it well matters. Other ways for classes to use AI include stimulating discussion and student response to the AI’s analysis of complex ideas. There are limits to the AI’s usability, but in most cases, it retrieves information quickly and has the ability to eliminate a lot of false answers.