ChatGPT was recently released, are we all doomed?
ChatGPT is all the rage on different social platforms, forums, and all over regular news as well. Is this wave of AI our doom, or simply the new way of how things will be from now on?
Can ChatGPT Write Code?
I recently read an interesting article from Malwarebytes called ChatGPT happy to write ransomware, just really bad at it. In the article, Mark Stockley tries to get ChatGPT to write ransomware for him. A straightforward request to write ransomware is met by a no and a lengthy explanation. Stockley manages to manipulate the AI a bit and, step by step, he makes the AI give code samples. If understood and modified, these could probably be turned into basic ransomware.
The AI sometimes switches between programming languages without explanation, and there are more stumbling blocks throughout the experiment. Still, it’s interesting to see that the creators have tried to give the AI some ethics to live by.
ChatGPT and AI in Education
In education, the fear of AI is at an all-time high. It’s not risk-free, but I suppose calculators and computers were met with the same reactions when they were introduced. There is a lot of doom and gloom going around concerning AI and ChatGPT in particular. The introduction of ChatGPT might not spell our doom. But it does highlight some of the flaws the education system already has.
Just this week, a colleague of mine noticed that something wasn’t quite right. In Sweden, we’re in the middle of going through the standardized tests for our first-year students in upper secondary high school. One part of the Swedish test is preparing a speech connected to the theme of the test. And here is where my colleague noticed something was strange and a bit off.
A Fresh Example of AI Used as a Shortcut
We have a lesson to prepare the students and give them the information. But as teachers, we can’t help the students more than that. The students then have a week to prepare for their oral exam. This means the rest of their preparations are made at home. It’s been this way for years. And I understand the need for many teachers to ask for a copy of the manuscript as well as watch the oral performance.
Students could previously easily ask a sibling, parent, friend, or grandparent to write their speech for them. So what was different this time? A simple thing really. The word (picture 1) was inserted between the paragraphs. This is probably an indication of when to use different presentation slides. Though this didn’t transfer to the text-based manuscript itself. There were also some errors considering the tone or how the speaker referred to the audience. The point was to give a personal view on the topic. When I read one of the samples, it looked more like a speech you would give at a formal occasion.
Another giveaway was the attitude around the whole thing. While there were only a few students that my colleague suspected of having used some AI help, most of them were having their presentation in the same group. The other students present were considerably more nervous than the potential AI cheaters. It was clear that they had created their presentations themselves.
Future Education With AI and ChatGPT – Are We Doomed?
Is this the new future in education? AI and ChatGPT, are we all doomed? It’s hard to say, but I think the answer is yes and no. As teachers, I think we have to embrace the use of AI. But we must also teach our students not to rely on AI alone. This is no different really from teaching students to use critical thinking when researching topics online.
Personally, I think AI could help us, as professionals, as well. Parts of AI are implemented here and there and have been for some time long before ChatGPT. Perhaps you’ve noticed that when creating a new PowerPoint you can use the option Quickstarter (available if you have Microsoft 365)? What happens when you use that? Well, you type your topic and get a general outline of things to include in your presentation. Sure, it’s based on a Bing-driven Wikipedia search – but it does save you some time.
What about using design ideas in PowerPoint? Again, some AI right there. Microsoft is also rolling out its Copilot feature and just released the article OneNote: Your Digital Notebook, Reimagined with Copilot. This is an example of how AI can be used inside OneNote.
You can read more about Microsoft 365 Copilot here, but this is what Microsoft says about it:
Today, we are bringing the power of next-generation AI to work. Introducing Microsoft 365 Copilot — your copilot for work. It combines the power of large language models (LLMs) with your data in the Microsoft Graph and the Microsoft 365 apps to turn your words into the most powerful productivity tool on the planet.
Again, ask yourself the question: is this the doom of education, or a glimpse of the future? Will teachers and educators still be needed? Probably, but the work will change a bit in nature compared with today. What is your view on AI and education? Are we all doomed with the release of ChatGPT?