How South African universities plan to deal with ChatGPT. University administrators are perplexed by ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence (AI) application from OpenAI, the US AI research center financed by Elon Musk.
The device is known as a chatbot by OpenAI. This tool, however, is far more potent than the chatbots that businesses use on their websites to assist irate clients.
How South African universities plan to deal with ChatGPT
ChatGPT was taught to have conversations through OpenAI. It won’t ask you to choose from five possibilities so that it can simply retrieve information from a user manual, unlike the chatbots we are used to.
“The dialogue format makes it possible for ChatGPT to answer follow-up questions, admit its mistakes, challenge incorrect premises, and reject inappropriate requests. ChatGPT is a sibling model to InstructGPT, which is trained to follow an instruction promptly and provide a detailed response,” OpenAI describes on its website.
Universities are perplexed by the tool’s capability to follow user instructions, prompts, and offer precise responses.
Users can ask the technology to produce a song like Drake or a thesis on world hunger using straightforward directions.
Diane Grayson, senior director of academic affairs at Wits University, said: “ChatGPT is causing such a stir globally is that it is the most sophisticated large language model yet developed, capable of generating well-written text in response to users’ questions.”
Grayson adds that the university cannot prohibit students from using ChatGPT, “not that we would want to”.
“For example, ChatGPT can be useful in generating suggestions for a paper. But ChatGPT sometimes combines text in a way that the answers it gives are factually incorrect, controversial, biased or made up.”
Grayson explained students could include text from the tool to engage with critically. “If students choose to use ChatGPT to help with an assignment, they need to reference it, and make clear which parts were generated by ChatGPT and which were their own writing.”
Tshilidzi Marwala, the departing vice-chancellor of the University of Johannesburg (UJ), stated that academic integrity-protecting policies would need to be reviewed in order to use AI tools like ChatGPT.
“We cannot take the ostrich-in-the-sand approach to AI developments and therefore need to consider how best to educate our students and staff as it may have benefits for teaching and learning.” He said
Marwala stated that although though ChatGPT was still in its early stages of research, technological developments might one day turn it into a practical tool. “Responsible and ethical utilisation may be a possibility for exploration.”
According to Phaphama Tshisikhawe, a spokesman for the Tshwane University of Technology, the usage of these tools increases the possibility of plagiarism because it is challenging to determine where created content originated.
She emphasized the possibility of bias in the data used to train the models in data (analytics) science, particularly for tasks involving predictive modeling. Tshisikhawe said:
“ChatGPT has the potential to offer many benefits in higher education. It also carries significant risks and dangers that must be carefully considered.”
“As AI technology continues to advance, it is important for educators and policymakers to carefully weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks of using ChatGPT in the classroom and to take steps to mitigate the risks and ensure that students receive accurate, unbiased and personalised feedback.”