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ChatGPT: A Powerful Tool Students should use Responsibly

(Wikimedia Commons)

In the last few months, the artificial intelligence chatbot, ChatGPT, has exploded in popularity. Developed by OpenAI and released last November, ChatGPT spits out a response when given a prompt by the user.

So what makes ChatGPT so different from other chatbots? Instead of determining the next word in a sentence from the previous few, ChatGPT’s software formulates answers based on hundreds of previously entered words. It also uses a neural network that simulates neurons in the human brain, allowing it to answer follow-up questions, admit its mistakes, challenge incorrect premises, and reject inappropriate requests.

ChatGPT’s expansive abilities have challenged schools’ academic integrity. In an interview with Dave Feinberg, he further explains ChatGPT and its implications for education.

Feinberg teaches Honors Computer Science 2 and 3 at Academy. Before coming to Academy, Feinberg worked in Silicon Valley for over four years, was a member of the MIT team that designed the Scratch programming language, and taught introductory programming courses at Carnegie Mellon University.

“The more you play around with ChatGPT, the more you realize it can do crazy stuff,” says Feinberg. 

Besides writing complex code given a simple prompt, the existence of ChatGPT allows Feinberg and his students to have rich conversations about AI and the meaning of intelligence. 


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