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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

If you haven’t heard of ChatGPT yet, you need to get out of the house more. This AI language program is exploding in popularity right now and is the center of much debate regarding originality and authenticity. What is ChatGPT for those of you who don’t know, let’s go straight to the source. The OpenAI product describes itself as follows: “ChatGPT is a large language model developed by OpenAI, designed to generate human-like responses to natural language inputs. It is based on the GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) architecture and has been trained on a massive corpus of text data from the internet.” If you have never used the online program or simply don’t want to, the best comparison I can give is if you have ever used the online chat service for Apple or any troubleshooting website, however, ChatGPT is much smarter and more personalized. Besides some accuracy issues, ChatGPT can create huge ethical problems, like generating convincing fake news and aiding students, employees, and really anyone in shirking their own responsibilities and relying on AI to do it for them. When asked about whether or not students should be able to use ChatGPT in school, AI responded, “Ultimately, whether or not students should be able to use ChatGPT in school depends on how it is used and the goals of the education system. If ChatGPT is used responsibly and as a tool to aid learning and development, it could be a valuable resource for students. However, if it is used to replace critical thinking or as a shortcut for completing assignments, it could be detrimental to their education.”

In the short amount of time that ChatGPT has been center stage, I have met countless students who are already misusing this technology. They have the AI generate papers they are too lazy to write and skip class readings by generating a quick summary instead. Even with plagiarism software, since the prompts in ChatGPT can be so specific, the student’s work is never flagged. In today’s day and age, we have countless resources and technology at our fingertips. There is a sigh of relief in every class when the professor announces that exams and quizzes are online. Hardly anything we do anymore is on paper, but I wonder if that will change in the coming years. If universities and higher education aren’t able to detect plagiarism online, they might just remove the temptation from students altogether. ChatGPT itself knows how difficult it is to catch its own plagiarism, saying “Detecting plagiarism in text generated by ChatGPT can be challenging, as the language produced by the model is designed to be natural and human-like. However, there are some strategies that can be used to identify potential instances of plagiarism.” Even in the small blurbs I included throughout this article, you can see that ChatGPT truly is a human-like conversation tool. If I had not included quotation marks, would you have known I didn’t write it?

AI and ChatGPT in particular can be an incredible tool and has countless different applications that would no doubt be a benefit. Where I worry is what kind of world it will create. Will fake news be even more widespread and even harder to detect? Will our next generation even be qualified if they pass the bar or their MCAT using AI? I am keeping an open mind, but for now, I am definitely skeptical as to how ChatGPT is being used.

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Emma Keane

U Mass Amherst '23

Emma is a Senior this year at Umass Amherst. She is in her third semester of Her Campus and loves it. She is happy she made the decision to get back into reading and writing. In her free time, she likes to hang with friends, jam to Post Malone, and tan on the beach until sunset.