ChatGPT — use it but don’t rely on it

LETTERS: ChatGPT or Generative Pre-training Transformer — a generative language model — has received numerous reviews and comments on its use.

For those who are unfamiliar with the term, it is an artificial intelligence (AI) chat that has been designed and programmed to carry on real-world, genuine conversations. Some in academia support it and others doubt it.

Let’s talk about its benefits. Author Roger Montti states that the ChatGPT is capable of processing large numbers of texts and learning to perform natural language processing tasks effectively.

It is a revolutionised technology trained to answer complex questions and provide human-quality responses. It can analyse, provide solutions to the users whenever asked, and generate appropriate and consistent responses for a chatbot in a wide range of context.

It can be a great tool for the academic world, especially students writing academic essays because it can provide insightful feedback into the quality of content, grammar and punctuation. It provides prompt feedback and extra help to struggling students through its ability to provide real-time assistance.

Additionally, it can offer suggestions on areas that need improvement and provide support when writing lengthy or complicated sections, and provide helpful guidance when choosing sources for quotations or references.

Moreover, it helps avoid unintentional plagiarism since it produces original content instead of relying on information already available online, and ensures that the essay is well organised.

It can be seen that it does not inherently deplete the authenticity of academic essays, but can potentially improve authenticity if it is used properly.

However, there are also some drawbacks to using the ChatGPT technology.

Health and science writer Markham Heid in an article in the Washington Post shared academicians’ concerns about the use of ChatGPT in academic writing.

For one, they argue that ChatGPT does not provide the same depth or level of feedback that a teacher might provide on an essay and also how much freedom and autonomy students may have when using ChatGPT.

It can often be used as a means to complete tasks quickly rather than being a tool to truly learn and gain an understanding of the subject material.

These are seen as a risk if it could eventually replace face-to-face interactions between students and teachers.

ChatGPT can give feedback on students’ assignments but cannot provide the same level of personalised guidance and technical advice a teacher would be able to provide.

Lastly, there is a lack data related to the effectiveness of ChatGPT in improving students’ writing, so it is difficult to assess its true value, which is complicated by the fact that the quality of feedback provided by ChatGPT may vary widely depending on the chatbot used.

As a result, many teachers err on the side of caution and prefer to offer traditional methods of learning.

As academics, careful consideration should be given to how ChatGPT is being used in the educational setting to ensure that students and teachers are able to derive maximum benefits from the technology.


Lecturers, Akademy of Language Studies, Universiti Teknologi Mara, Terengganu

Source: ChatGPT — use it but don’t rely on it – New Straits Times

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