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ChatGPT’s nature and its impact on worldwide Academia

In November 2022, Open AI, in collaboration with Elon Musk, presented Chatbot – Chat GPT, the innovative artificial intelligence application that caused a storm of controversy. Generative Pretrained Transformer is the full name of the new product, which is constantly being enhanced by its ambitious designers and users. It is free and open to everybody, and its function is, in short, to answer -in full written text- any question, and to re-edit the users’ answers, structuring an almost human dialogue. It has encountered serious criticism within the academic sector, on a high school and college level.

In January an unprecedented case was documented; the AI application provided a successful college essay on Operations Management at Wharton MBA Program. This led Professor Christian Terwiesch to publish a report on ChatGPT’s impressive abilities and concerning drawbacks. The most alarming part is that ChatGPT, though in its early stages, is sophisticated enough to provide an in-depth cohesive analysis in many scientific disciplines, based on case-studies evidence. Due to its enormous input, it can pass high-level essays for universities, SAT, or even medical licensure exams, answering even to prompts that require critical reasoning and argumentation.

Educators’ main concerns can be summed up in three. First is the gradual deactivation of critical thinking and writing skills. They fear that relying on an AI app would deter students from cultivating their creativity. Essay writing remains a form of expressing one’s personality. Harry Kraemer, professor at the Kellogg School of Management underlines that hard skills may be important, but they could never compare to the imagination, initiative, and adaptability of a to-be professional in any field. A second concern is the lack of transparency. Deriving its information from global bibliography, ChatGPT never cites its sources, exposing its users to the danger of plagiarism. The third concern is misinformation; AI is not flawless. Even the most erudite professor could make a mistake, let alone a technological device.

For the above reasons, numerous prestigious US universities have reacted in the most clear-cut manner: banning ChatGPT from all students’ devices, simply regarding it as cheating. It would be unacceptable for students to have a tool to write their essays instead of them. New York professors have denounced ChatGPT and invented digital tools to test whether a piece of written discourse comes from it. Based on similar arguments, the Australian legislation on Education also banned ChatGPT from schools’ firewalls.

As far as the CLC Educational Institute is concerned, it is a great relief for people to know that students’ admission essays could never be a product of a machine. Building academic profiles is a totally personalized procedure, always based on values such as creativityoriginality, and authenticity. CLC’s essays present a two to four-year series of activities (projects, workshops, athletics, etc.) and each student’s unique profile. It would never be feasible to get that off ChatGPT. All in all, the soft skills and sentimental value that make an essay stand out are CLC’s prior tasks.

 

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