With all the advancements in technology over the years, chatbots are nothing new. Chatbots are artificial intelligence (AI) bots capable of being asked questions and replying with information, or websites. Technology such as Google Assistant, Siri, and Alexa are all chatbots. There is an emerging chatbot that seems to be growing in popularity, although it doesn’t speak (per se) like Siri or Google Assistant. Rather, it is designed to provide people with information on what they ask about. This new chatbot is known as ChatGPT.

ChatGPT is currently available to everyone. The creators of ChatGPT have stated that the technology is still in its research phase. The creators have allowed everyone free access to the chatbot so they can receive feedback from users to understand what needs to be changed. 

ChatGPT is capable of many things, according to users and creators. The creators of ChatGPT have said the dialogue format that ChatGPT uses makes the chatbot able to answer follow-up questions, admit mistakes, and challenge incorrect information.  The software can ask clarifying questions to find out the right answers. It can also help debug code, answer questions on how to write a friendly note, and more.

Although ChatGPT has many capabilities, there are limitations to what it can do at the moment. For example, the chatbot can give a believable answer to a question even though it is incorrect. Slight changes to the questions asked to the chatbot can cause it to claim not to know the answer, though when the question is reworded, the chatbot can answer the question without issues. The current model often states the same thing repeatedly as well. The current models also do not ask clarifying questions; instead, guess what the users intended to ask. Despite these issues, the creators have said they plan regular updates to the models to improve in these areas. 

This new software is starting to affect the integrity of student-written papers. Although cheating on homework and tests is not new to schools, this software could allow students to ask it to write an essay, and plagiarism software wouldn’t be able to pick up on this.  Some teachers at Key West High School (KWHS) have already started implementing more paper and pencil back into the classroom to counteract this. It’s also speculated that all essays could be turned in hand-written next year. Some schools have already banned the use of ChatGPT. One such example is the Montgomery County Public Schools which blocked access to the website as of January third.

ChatGPT is a new chatbot that has surfaced, and its creators have big ambitions. The chatbot is currently able to provide an extensive amount of knowledge, though there are a few limitations to what it can answer. ChatGPT is currently free to everyone, so research teams can get feedback from users on where to improve their technology. Although ChatGPT has made large advancements, the effect it has on schools could be even larger.


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