Give Credit Where Credit is Due
I’m always on the lookout for articles about the use of ChatGPT, especially as it pertains to ethical behavior. I recently read an instructive piece on the Educate Wiser website. In it, the author points out some of the limitations of ChatGPT that include:
- Generating inaccurate or unreliable information.
- Reflecting biases that are present in the text it has been trained on.
- Lacking the ability to understand context or nuance.
For example, a student using ChatGPT to write a research paper on the Vietnam war may generate a response that contains incorrect dates or events. Therefore, it is important to critically evaluate ChatGPT's responses and to verify information using multiple sources to avoid perpetuating biases or misinformation. By understanding ChatGPT's limitations, students can use this tool effectively as a supplement to their own research and critical thinking.
There are ethical considerations when choosing to use ChatGPT, including not to use it to cheat, plagiarize, or misrepresent students’ work. Some examples of using ChatGPT unethically include:
- Using ChatGPT to generate responses for a homework assignment and presenting them as your own work without acknowledging the use of ChatGPT.
- Using ChatGPT to generate text for a research paper and claiming that the ideas were your own when in fact they were generated by the tool.
The key is to be transparent in its use and give credit where credit is due. This may involve acknowledging the use of ChatGPT in your references or bibliography, or explaining in your work that some ideas or text were generated by the tool.
ChatGPT can be a valuable tool for students to supplement their own learning. By using ChatGPT to generate ideas or information, students can gain a better understanding of complex topics or generate new ideas for research projects. However, it is important to remember that ChatGPT should not be a substitute for in-depth research or critical thinking. Moreover, ChatGPT should not be the only source of information used in your academic work. Rather, it should be used as a supplement to your own research and critical thinking. By using ChatGPT in this way, students can enhance their understanding of complex topics and develop their own ideas and arguments with the support of additional information, and act responsibly.
Student Views on Using ChatGPT
Survey results reported by Best Colleges on March 27, 2023, “Half of College Students Say Using AI is Cheating,” are mixed. One-half of college students (51%) agree that using AI tools like ChatGPT on schoolwork constitutes cheating or plagiarism. About 1 in 5 use them anyway. When asked if “Using AI tools to help complete assignments and exams is morally wrong,” 41% agreed, while 27% disagreed. When asked whether “AI tools should be prohibited in educational settings, 38% of respondents disagreed, and 27% agreed. These results are troubling because ChatGPT is increasingly being used by students, many of whom recognize the ethical issues but still use it to enhance their classroom performance. This raises a red flag about academic integrity.
The prospect of AI may be influencing students’ perspectives about the value of college. Forty percent say that its use defeats the purpose of education. Many students express concern about the impact of AI on their education or future careers, but they’re more concerned about the impact on society.
Twenty-seven percent of college students worry about the impact of AI on their education, and 31% are worried about its impact on their career choses and potential career path. Meanwhile, about half of students (48%) are worried about the impact on society in general. Nevertheless, the majority of students (63%) agree that AI can’t replace human intelligence or creativity.
In conclusion, students must be aware of the limitations of ChatGPT and use the tool responsibly. This may involve verifying the accuracy of the information generated by the tool, acknowledging the use of ChatGPT in your work, and using critical thinking skills to evaluate the information generated. By using ChatGPT in a responsible manner, students can enhance their learning and avoid potential ethical concerns.
Blog posted by Dr. Steven Mintz on August 2, 2023. You can sign up for Steve’s newsletter and learn more about his activities on his website (https://www.stevenmintzethics.com/).