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Embrace ChatGPT don’t fear it!

Dr Michael Tobin who recently visited Hong Kong, gives his opinion on Chat GPT, the artificial intelligence (AI) tool that is causing quite a stir across the academic world globally.

ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence language model that has gained popularity in recent years.  While ChatGPT was originally developed for conversational purposes, it has the potential to revolutionise the way academics work. Indeed, in the academic world it has caused a stir and is viewed by many as being a step change to how academics (lecturers) and students (learners) may engage with their learning.   In this article Dr Tobin discusses why academics should embrace ChatGPT.

The main fear is that a college student can now potentially get 100% in their examinations/assessments/thesis/research through using the tool in real time as they do their assignments.  And, it is this dilemma that is causing the anxiety.  So, how should we view Chat GPT because on the one hand we have the challenge of students (learners) abusing it, but on the other hand,  it is a tool that is potentially useful and as such we should encourage it, as it can help us to do wonderful things. For example, it has created a video game in 69 seconds, it has helped with legal issues, and even created a website, https://www.greengadgetguru.com/ , to list but a few.

Academics and students should embrace ChatGPT. It is simply a new tool, similar to other ‘new tools’ that have been introduced throughout the decades. The role of the academic therefore is to understand how we can incorporate ChatGPT into our students learning, our lecturer delivery, and our modes of assessment.  Chat GPT can be used as a powerful research tool, researchers can use it to generate hypotheses and conduct exploratory research by asking the model open-ended questions.  Additionally, ChatGPT can be used to enhance teaching and learning where both academics and students can access information quickly and easily.  Through widespread use it even has the potential to bridge the gap between academia and the public, increasing the impact of research and promoting knowledge dissemination.

Further, it is often argued that technology hasn’t had the effect on education, that many often hope it would have.  So, perhaps ChatGPT and other AI-driven software will finally deliver on the promise of revolutionising the way people teach and learn.  It has potential to know ones interests and learning style so it can tailor content that will keep the learner engaged.  It can potentially measure our understanding, notice when we are losing interest, and understand what kind of motivation you respond to. 

In conclusion, academics should embrace ChatGPT as it can be a valuable tool for research, teaching, and communication.  By using ChatGPT, academics can save time, enhance the learning experience, and increase the impact of their research while exploiting technology in the classroom/lecture theatre.  Chat GPT is not a substitute for human intelligence, it can however complement and enhance it, enabling academics (and us all) to achieve more than they (we) could before.  

By: Dr Michael Tobin, The University of Manchester

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