WHAT THE @##$* IS CHATGPT?
Simply put, ChatGPT is a “language” of sorts that was developed to help Artificial intelligences understand human speak.
ChatGPT makes it very easy now for all our kids to hop onto their devices, using pretty much any language, and have what feels like a normal human conversation with a very non-human chatbot. Think Siri or Alexa with a personality – someone’ who pauses, thinks about your questions and answers after gathering all the information there is to gather on the topic or question at a hand.
HOW IS IT DIFFERENT TO ALEXA OR SIRI?
ChatGPT is way past a Google search using Alexa because Alexa presents you with information that already exists. Out pops ten articles written by different people, or three contradictory bits of information that don’t make sense or one bland bit of research found in the annuls of what once was a digitized Encyclopedia Britannica.
Here’s the rub: ChatGPT takes the information, and we mean ALL the information on all platforms, and amalgamates it, using the best most current thinking on the open AI source and creates, for you, within seconds, one very enticing answer!!
WHY IS THIS A BIG DEAL FOR OUR KIDS?
This is a big deal for our children (and us) because this advance in technology brings with it content creation not just content supply!
So, when you need to present a Grade 8 essay on “What is the value of studying history?”, ChatGPT (which sits accessibly on a Microsoft platform) understands your abstract question. AI pulls it all together, in a very eloquently answered essay format and boom, homework done three minutes before you need to submit! Effort level Zero, Accuracy level 9.8.
And here’s the other fascinating aspect to it – ask the question again, you will get a different essay, using different words. So, for anyone really wanting to finish homework, submit a thesis, develop a ‘ready to rock’ essay for an exam, create a blog, ChatGPT is your go -to. In fact, ChatGPT just passed an MBA exam at Wharton University. How, you may ask? Well, l it can analyse large amounts of text and extract the most important insights, hypotheses and summaries. And it can summarize it for you!!
ChatGPT can translate languages with accuracy and natural sounding voices, it can teach languages and help our kids to improve their grammar, vocabulary, sentence structure – all of it. Manners, eye rolling and tone of voice will still remain parental domain sadly.
Alexa, Google Assistant etc. will be made to look like constipated cannons on the battlefield of school work that wants stealth bombers and automated rifles.
ANY DOWNSIDE to CHATGPT?
All of this sounds pretty impressive but of course something as profoundly ‘intelligent’ as ChatGPT can lend itself to abuse and the one that concerns us most at KLIKD is the capacity it gives our kids to hack the school system!
The biggest risk in our view will be our children’s wish to hack the system! And while many of our children are still beholden to an education system that is largely antiquated and desirous of parrot-learning, obedient and unchallenging learners, they still need some basic essay writing skills, creativity and research skills. Creating essays, answering exams and submitting work as if it is your own hard, well-researched work is only one way that ChatGPT allows the doors of deceit to open.
Not every child will go down the road of cheating in this way. But for sure every child will want to use ChatGPT and this lends itself to our children not being able to discern good information from bad, not being able to critically think for themselves, not being able to work to a time frame….the list is endless.
CHATGPT also lends itself to cyberbullying and online harassment through the sophisticated generation of very offensive and hurtful content and messages directed at someone’s vulnerable spot.
It allows for the creation of fake news at a new level. Spreading it online will be swift and easy.
ChatGPT will also take the creation of fraudulent emails to new heights. They will look so authentic to the untrained eye that asking for and stealing personal data like banking details from unsuspecting t/weens (and adults) will be easier than ever before.
SCHOOLS ARE SAYING “NO-GO”, BUT OUR KIDS AREN’T BUYING IT!
Many international schools have already said ‘no go’ to students making any use of ChatGPT, but it is our view that our kids are going to find ways, permitted or not. The trick is going to be for parents and educators to teach skills of discernment, to help find fact from fiction, and most importantly to still be creators. In the end, we want our children to be contributors to society and if they don’t learn that skill early on, if they hack the system, forget how to think and spread malicious information, we are for all intents and purpose creating our own little robots.
Like all online developments there is a potential to harm and a potential to help –we have to help our kids to want to use CHATGPT for good. Below are some conversation starters that will give you, as a parent, some proper street cred with your child, but more importantly will help them to think carefully before adopting ChatGPT as their go-to personal assistant and essay writer!
- So, have you heard of ChatGPT? (explain in simple terms what it is if they haven’t heard – “it is a new kind of language model that lets us engage with Artificial intelligence in a way that feels very human. So for example if you had a big essay to write, you could use ChatGPT to ask the question and it will draw on all the data sources it has and collate them to give us one very intelligent answer to a question. Pretty exciting huh?”).
- How do you think you people could use ChatGPT to their advantage?
- Do you think it’s cheating the system at school for example if you get ChatGPT to write an essay for you?
- I get that it would be really tempting to get ChatGPT to do some of your work for you – taking the cheating factor out of it for a moment, whatimportant life skills do you think you might lose by doing that?
- What excites/scares you most about ChatGPT?
- How do you think ChatGPT might effect your chance of getting a job in the future?
- Does this worry you or do you think it is an advance in society if we were, for example to use chatbots instead of people to improve on customer service?
- Do you think ChatGPT might increase the spread of fake news or fraudulent phishing mail now that we can pretty much make anything look very real and authentic?
- Do you think people could use ChatGPT to send really ugly content online for example to bully or troll people in a sophisticated way?
- How could you use ChatGPT to your advantage without being deceitful – for example you could see what answer it gives you and then using that as a base to see what you agree with, disagree with and write your own essay after that?
If that doesn’t give you enough dinner table conversation with your screenager, maybe ChatGPT can help! 🙂
Sarah and Pam