ChatGPT is here to stay, so let’s use it for good


Luisa Paredes | Special to The Union

On Nov. 30, 2022, OpenAI, an artificial intelligence and research company, released ChatGPT.

Short for chat generative pre-trained transformer, ChatGPT is already the fastest-growing app of all time. To access the new AI, all it takes is to go to the website and create an account.

As of January of this year, ChatGPT was estimated to have 100 million active users, according to ZDNET, a website for business technology.

According to ZDNET, Tiktok reached 100 million users in nine months. ChatGPT, however, took only two months to reach 100 million users.

ChatGPT is growing, and it’s here to stay. Students and professors should use ChatGPT for help and inspiration, but professors should also be careful of students who want to use the new AI to be academically dishonest.

ChatGPT is still in its infancy, with the research on the AI continuing. It is free to use, and anyone can ask as many questions or request as much information as possible.

“Write an essay about George Washington and his role in the American Revolution.”

“Analyze Leonardo Da Vinci’s ‘Mona Lisa.’”

“What is six times seven?” Answer: 42.

Even with continuing research, people have the option to purchase the premium version of ChatGPT, called ChatGPT Plus, according to ZDNET.

“As of Feb. 1, OpenAI has a ChatGPT pro plan, ChatGPT Plus, which allows users to have general access even during peak times, experience faster response times and have priority access to new features and improvements,” according to ZDNET. 

ChatGPT Plus does come at a cost: of $20 per month.

ChatGPT can have its benefits. It can help students with writer’s block; that feeling where you don’t know how to begin an essay or if you’re stuck on a certain part.

It can help with generating ideas for that final essay or for the make-or-break semester project.

In other words, ChatGPT isn’t all bad. Reading an essay from ChatGPT is like reading an example essay in an English class that a previous student wrote. The only difference is who wrote it.

However, students do use ChatGPT to be academically dishonest. At Cape Coral High School in Florida, students in the International Baccalaureate Program (IB) have been accused of using ChatGPT.

According to the New York Post, a staffer in the program wrote in an email that students did admit to using ChatGPT. 

In addition, staffers in the program were suspicious of some of the IB papers because of the difference in writing style from previous papers.

With some students around the country using ChatGPT to write their essays, it’s not worth it to cheat and be academically dishonest. ChatGPT is still young and has many limitations.

ZDNET mentions how ChatGPT can’t answer questions that are inputted in a specific way. ChatGPT also can’t deliver a high-quality response to questions that are answered.

In other words, the response may sound correct, but it won’t make practical sense.

ChatGPT also takes a guess on what your question means. This leads to unintended responses that won’t relate to the question.

Another limitation of ChatGPT is its lack of new information when generating responses. ZDNET notes the information ChatGPT has is only up to 2021. This means you can’t ask ChatGPT who won Super Bowl LVI in February 2022.

ChatGPT is not going away. It’s going to grow and get smarter as time goes on.

Now is not the time to ban or discourage its use; now is the time to be aware of ChatGPT and use it for good, not evil.

Even ChatGPT says you shouldn’t use it to cheat, according to ZDNET.

“My responses are not intended to be taken as fact,” ChatGPT said. “I always encourage people to verify any information they receive from me or any other source.”