It’s been over 250 days since the launch of ChatGPT, considered to be a breakthrough in AI technology when it first launched in 30th Nov 2022. This AI Chatbot hit 100M active users in just 2 months which is fastest time any tech took to reach this milestone. It is even 4.5 times faster than the runner up (TikTok). So, it’s totally obvious that within this time interval of 8 months and 9 days, ChatGPT has become a culture and part of daily routine for millions of people worldwide.
Internet fanatics for entertainment, professionals for work-related stuff and even students are using ChatGPT to perform deep research, analysis or create drafts, assignments and even write full length thesis. ChatGPT is being hailed as a savior among student community. But, it does more harm than help to your education. How, you ask? Well, I have seen 7 major problems with using ChatGPT for studies that I am discussing below.
7 Ways ChatGPT is Hurting College Students’ Grades & Studies
ChatGPT is so easy to use, right? Accessible to everyone, fast and looks like the perfect tool that we needed for a very long time. It came with its set of advantages but among disadvantages, there are much more than what meets the eyes. Lets talk about it in a very unbiased & rational way to be totally clear about the pitfalls you need to be aware of while using the tool.
Quality of Information
ChatGPT is being treated as the “smart” way to research a topic and instantly get its summary which includes everything you need to know about the topic. Right? Wrong! Firstly, as ChatGPT explicitly tells as a word of caution before many answer that it’s data cutoff date is September 2021. So, even at the time of initial release, the information ChatGPT could provide was over a year old, now even more.
Next, it was trained on a mixture of licensed, publicly available data and we don’t have information about what it scraped and what it didn’t so, when we ask for some statistics, conclusions or view (either of ChatGPT’s or a group/category of people) we need to take it with a grain of salt because ChatGPT doesn’t have any information about what it didn’t scraped which could affect the answer. This is especially dangerous if you are researching for any thesis or assignment on which your marks depend.
A Fancy Article Spinner
Article spinners are those web tools which replace words in sentences, paragraphs or whole article with similar words. They can also change the style/tone of sentence, perform complex spinning which can replace some sentences entirely all to give a copied text an impression of being unique. ChatGPT, for the most part is as same as that It just have extra features that you don’t necessarily need to provide copied content it can fetch it from it’s scraped data and necessary modifications before provide it as an answer. Yeah, it has some advanced functioning that even the most complex article spinner doesn’t have such as adding your own information, conversational skills, etc. but at the end, this AI tool is just a combo package of Article Spinner, Chatbot, Scrapper and few other tools.
And most importantly, as tools are available to detect plagiarism on even the most complex spun article, there are lots of powerful tools now available to detect if a piece is written by human or A.I. So, I don’t need to tell you that if the institution is smart or serious enough, it will find out that you’ve used ChatGPT to create assignments and other submissions.
AI Diseases & Disorders
Generative AI is far from being perfect. I am not saying this due to all the things it can’t do yet but due to all the things it is currently capable of doing and pretending to do them perfectly. AI suffers from some major ailments which only get worse with time, this effect is severe in the case of generative AI tool like our favorite, ChatGPT. AI suffers from biases, hallucinations & manipulations which will render the data either partial or totally useless when the topic/assignment demands high level of precision.
- Biases – ChatGPT answers are based on the data it was trained with. The data obviously doesn’t have equal distribution of content from every topic or view. So, for most of the topics, though ChatGPT is representing answers as they being absolute & correct but in actuality, they are correct just according to ChatGPT’s knowledgebase, not universally. This also results in biases which are not as visible always.
- Hallucinations – Not all web content are made equal on the internet. Some are expert quality, some are novice quality and most of them are garbage which are written either by people who don’t know what they are doing or garbage output of software/web tools. While scrapping data, ChatGPT has scrapped them too and so, every once in a while, ChatGPT starts throwing senseless garbage information which sometimes are even hard to read, let alone be good enough to make a logic.
- Manipulations – Information can be manipulated. Biases and hallucinations are some ways to manipulate an information but the most visible manipulation is the “rules” OpenAI has put on ChatGPT either to follow any Govenment’s guidelines, investor’s interest or their own wisdom/intuition. These rules and guidelines stop ChatGPT from roaming freely and hence, it can’t answer in a totally unfiltered way. Also, we don’t know all the rules that restrict this generative AI, so again, we don’t know how much the information coming out of ChatGPT is skewed or censored.
The Fake ChatGPT Utopia
If you’ve come this far, you’re now already aware of imperfectness that ChatGPT has but the main point is ChatGPT is made better in hiding its imperfectness rather than showing it for user’s due diligence. It creates a fake feeling (aka Illusion) of utopia in content writing world and most users just take it for that. What happens after that? They become ignorant of ChatGPT’s pitfalls and just take the answer ChatGPT is giving as facts rather than views. This leads to spiral effect of errors which starts from one assignment and spread across to multiple subjects, exam preparations, analysis/reports as so on. I don’t need to tell you that this can lead to both short term and long term issues in your education.
A quick shake to this ChatGPT created utopia dream? ChatGPT many times can’t correctly calculate basic math operations (screenshot) –
Disconnects you from Research
In the first point, I said ChatGPT is considered smart way to do research and get summary/conclusion. BUT, “devil is in details” quote is not famous for nothing. You’re paying a fee even after taking debt, pursuing a field of your interest and attending classes to increase your knowledge & skill on that subject. So why are you running away from an essential element to your growth “the research”. Research allows you to go through multiple pieces on the same topic, expands your mind, helps you answer question which you couldn’t ask in the class and makes the education more immersive which increase our passion in that topic, help us understand the topic better and retain much more.
This is an experience you’re literally paying for through university fee then don’t lose the chance of self growth just because it is a little uncomfortable. Yeah, a better way is to use an essay writing service if an assignment is too boring, repetitive and you are totally sure it won’t help you directly or if it’s approaching deadline but a reputed essay writing service at least provides you a piece that when you read will enlighten you with helpful information that you trust is authentic but, we can’t say the same about ChatGPT, right?
Everybody is using ChatGPT. So, of course your classmates and rivals too. ChatGPT is made so accessible and easy to use that everybody can properly use it. Honestly, the usage is so high that knowing how to use ChatGPT is now even a skill. If you are also using ChatGPT just like your classmates, your assignment is also going to be of the same quality as everyone else (i.e., average). And trying to be better than average while performing average action is just a waste.
How about using this trend to your advantage? If everybody else or most students are using ChatGPT, it makes it easy to outpace them if you just write an assignment manually or have it written from a good article writing service. Experienced teachers are skillful enough to know which assignments are written by AI and which ones are written manually. So, you will have a silent advantage without putting too much extra efforts.
Promoting The Wrong Trend
Last but not least, if you are using ChatGPT for your studies or serious task and spreading word about the tool and influencing/encouraging other people to use it then you are yourself giving power to this AI and other AI companies to invest in similar technologies which, in short term are developed to decrease workload on humans but has been changing the trend and putting thousands of humans out of the work for long term by making their position irrelevant.
The AI trend forgives no one, it even took the job of its developers which has butterfly effect in other industries and families so don’t think that it won’t affect your career if you keep hailing AI tools and considering it better than humans. Moreover, with so many problems that AI has come up with, if you make it ruler, it will have the wrong rules to guide the world.
ChatGPT is good but it has very serious problems that students generally ignore. So, I hope this article put a flash light on them and helped you know all of them and the issue they can create. So, you may use ChatGPT as a supporting software but don’t use it as your primary research tool. Always do a quick second research about your topic on Google, it won’t take more than few minutes but you’ll be surprised to see how much times this small habit will save you from putting incorrect information in your assignments.