Why writers and teachers shouldn’t be worried about OpenAI

ChatGPT pros and cons robot

OpenAI or ChatGPT has teachers and content writers worried. Writers fear job losses. While teachers, on the other hand, fear students will have essays, poems and stories written by a computer in seconds. While there are some reasons to be fearful, like any technology, we’ll have to learn to use this new, amazing tool to our advantage.

What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT stands for Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer. It was released in November 2022 in Beta form for free, for users to try and for the company to test for any bugs. It was so popular, they stopped accepting new users just two months later.

Using conversational language, users type in a question and ChatGPT will trawl the internet and come up with an answer. The result reads surprisingly well.

Here’s an example I came up with.

ChatGPT AI robot

Should I tell my 10 year old Santa isn’t real? Answer in 200 words for mums to read.

As a parent, it’s a personal decision on when to tell your child that Santa Claus is not real. While it may be tempting to preserve the magic of Santa, it’s important to consider your child’s maturity level and ability to understand the concept of Santa being fictional. If your child is beginning to question the reality of Santa, it may be a good time to have a conversation about it. Be honest and approach the conversation with sensitivity. Explain that while Santa is not real, the spirit of giving and love that he represents is something that we can all strive to emulate in our own lives. It’s also important to consider the impact that the Santa myth can have on your child’s trust in you and adults around them. Consider the pros and cons before making a decision.

This reads well, but it’s pretty general. You can ask it a question and tell it the intended audience, the format and word count. And, as more people use it, the better it will get.

Should ChatGPT be banned in schools?

It’s impossible to ban ChatGPT. That’s because students could easily use it at home. Teachers already check for plagiarism from Google. Although at the moment, it’s very hard to prove a student has used this technology. ChatGPT pulls information from anywhere on the internet without sourcing and displays a different response each time.

If a teacher suspects a student of cheating, they could do a verbal test. Otherwise, chances are, the student wouldn’t be able to meet the marking criteria and will be marked down that way. They probably won’t answer the question well.

Here’s an example of fox control in The Blue Mountains. The local council uses a bait called 1080. Foxes are a nuisance because they kill native wildlife such as possums, lizards and birds. They’re a bit of a sore topic with me at the moment, because one killed all four of our chickens.

Should 1080 baits be used in the Blue Mountains? Answer in 80 words

The use of 1080 baits in the Blue Mountains, or any area, is a complex issue that requires careful consideration of multiple factors. On one hand, 1080 baits can be an effective tool for controlling pest populations and protecting native wildlife. On the other hand, there are concerns about the environmental impact of the baits and the safety of non-target animals. Ultimately, any decision to use 1080 baits should be based on rigorous scientific research and a thorough assessment of the potential risks and benefits.

OpenAI ChatGPT robot reading a tablet sitting on a bench seat

You can see the answer is vague and hasn’t really answered the question.

How should teachers work with ChatGPT?

Students should be shown the advantages of this technology as a tool. It’s great for providing ideas. The librarian could teach the pros and cons of this technology, along with referencing and plagiarism.

Will Copywriters lose their jobs?

ChatGPT can write a pretty good first draft. But, there are a few problems. Fact-checking, tone of voice and persuasive writing need a human touch. Any business that worries about its brand reputation will continue to hire a copywriter, rather than relying on AI.

What are the Pros of using ChatGPT?

  • Chat GPT is great for generating ideas.
  • Social media posts can be generated, and you can edit them quickly, with hashtag suggestions.
  • It’s great for heading suggestions
  • It can be used as a skeleton draft.
  • At the moment it’s free

What are the Cons of ChatGPT?

  • The main con is fact-checking. ChatGPT uses information from any website, reputable or not.
  • Google is hot on the heels of ChatGPT in creating algorithms to detect AI written content, and will penalise the ranking of these websites.
  • SEO is another problem. Writing content that’s optimised for SEO and readable needs a human touch.
  • Current topics, within the last year, are not available. This will probably change as the technology improves.
  • Slang, local knowledge and terms will be missed.
  • Tone of voice will not be used.
  • Doesn’t include original quotes from interviews
  • Encourages laziness.

ChatGPT is here to stay. And, the technology is only going to get better. But rather than fear or ignore it, schools and businesses will have no choice but to embrace it.

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