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ChatGPT: A Game-Changer on Campus

By Ruby Churchill

ChatGPT has taken college campuses like Simpson University by storm.

The artificially intelligent chatbot, launched in 2022, is a natural language processing tool that people can converse with or assign tasks to. It is capable of writing or editing emails, essays, and code. What sets it apart from its peers is its remarkable convenience and accessibility. Potential users can access the free version or choose to use the subscription option. The latter has benefits like faster response times and access to the newest model GPT-4.

This program is prevalent throughout the world of academia. According to an article from Forbes, a staggering 90% of students have heard of ChatGPT and 89% have admitted to using it for homework assignments. Many educators are concerned about these developments and the ethical issues presented. Some have considered or followed through with banning the program from school networks. Others, however, see the launch of artificial intelligence, or AI, as an opportunity to improve education.

Rosealine Lemette, Assistant Professor of Digital Media, expressed the importance of integrating ChatGPT into the learning environment at Simpson University instead of prohibiting students from using it.

“If we ban it we’re not really living in our existence of what’s happening and we’re just hiding it,” Lemette said.

There are certainly still worries about the prospect of cheating and other issues with ChatGPT, which Professor Lemette acknowledged.

“Of course there’s concern. There’s concern of over exposure, increased anxiety…where do the safeguard features come in,” Lemette said.

Simpson University students also have strong opinions of ChatGPT. According to Senior Emily Jacobson, using AI for homework is unethical.

“It's cheating. If you’re having it write your answers, that’s plagiarism,” Jacobson said.

However, Jacobson added that ChatGPT could be valuable if used similarly to search engines for research purposes and ideas.

“It’s a resource, just like Google is, where you can get information. But if you’re using it to write your papers that’s still plagiarism. But if we limit people from being able to use ChatGPT...then we are limiting people’s access to resources and honestly it’s not going to stop the people who want to use it for bad reasons anyway,” Jacobson said.

At Simpson University, professors and students alike can see the benefits and drawbacks of ChatGPT in education. The number of students accessing the program on campus is increasing. So is the necessity of integrating the program into classrooms to teach students how to use it responsibly.

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