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ChatGPT: 3 Things For College Students To Consider

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Ohio U chapter.

By now, nearly everyone has heard about the impacts of artificial intelligence. 

Last November, OpenAI launched ChatGPT, a chat-style AI program. All users have to do is ask ChatGPT a question or give specific directions. The chatbot responds almost immediately with a response. The chatbot then gives a detailed response almost instantly. 

I asked ChatGPT, “What are five reasons to join Her Campus?”

Chatbot responded with the following:

  • Professional Development
  • Networking Opportunities
  • Leadership Experience
  • Platform for Expression
  • Personal Growth and Community 

I asked ChatGPT, “What are 3 styles that are in this fall?”

Chatbot’s response? Earth tones, cozy knits and ankle boots. 

These questions are simple and lighthearted. This is evidence that ChatGPT can be fun to play with– ask it questions, get answers or even have the chatbot tell you a joke. The system is seemingly simple… but there is much more to this story: plagiarism, cheating, scandals and more. ChatGPT has quickly become the center of heated debate. Here are 3 things to think about:

Where’d you get that information from? ChatGPT’s responses are formulated from a hodge-podge mega database 

According to Forbes, ChatGPT is not designed like a search engine. The chatbot uses the information it learned from a large pool of training data to generate responses. 

Picture it like this: When you search “definition of feminism” on Google, you are met with over 300 million results–different websites, different definitions, different accounts of feminism.

When you ask ChatGPT to “define feminism,” it uses mass amounts of data to compile a singular answer. 

What did the chatbot say? ChatGPT isn’t always accurate. 

One of the biggest setbacks with ChatGPT is accuracy. Sure, it might be nice to have a robot do your homework, but if the answers are jumbled with disinformation, what’s the point?

Thinking back to point one: ChatGPT pulls information from a vast number of online resources. That could include extremist online forums or conspiracy theory groups.

As a New York Times article puts it, “generative technology could make disinformation cheaper and easier to produce for an even larger number of conspiracy theorists and spreaders of disinformation.”

So, next time you think about asking ChatGPT to write your essay, you might also want to fact-check it. I hate to say it, but at that point, you might as well write it yourself. 

I’m out of ideas! ChatGPT can be utilized as a brainstorming tool.

While I wouldn’t advise having ChatGPT generate an entire piece of writing (AI plagiarism), I would suggest trying to use ChatGPT as a tool. Trying to write a story, but fresh out of ideas? Consider asking the chatbot. 

I asked ChatGPT for 3 possible magazine story ideas. It pitched the following:

  1. “Eco-warriors of the Future: Young Activists Leading the Environmental Movement”
  2. “The Digital Renaissance: How Technology is Reshaping Art and Creativity”
  3. “Rediscovering Lost Cultures: Women at the Helm of Cultural Preservation.”

These ideas are just ideas. If a writer would pursue one of these pitches, they would still have to utilize all of their writing skills, but they would have a head start during the brainstorming process with a little help from AI. 

I am a strong advocate for self-expression and creativity, but as a writer, sometimes the thought-fountain stops flowing.

ChatGPT is far from perfect. It lacks the creativity and imagination of an authentic writer and oftentimes produces misinformation, but it can also be used as a tool. When you don’t know where to begin, ChatGPT can be a tool to bounce ideas off of. 

AI is the future and it’s here to stay. There’s no point in running from it. As college students, it is dire that we embrace AI while using it ethically.

Abby is a junior at Ohio University. She is studying Journalism News and Information. In her free time, Abby enjoys painting, reading, writing, and thrifting!