Opinion: Rise of ChatGPT

Society Should Explore the Implications of New Artificial Intelligence Technology

Artwork by Brandon Borruso 24

Dimitri Donas ’23

In recent months, ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence program, has made waves due to its ability to generate literary responses, poetry, and even artwork through a simple written command. The software is free for anyone who has access to the internet, meaning that people have started using ChatGPT for a variety of purposes. While you may already know about ChatGPT from its ability to instantly provide students with (often inaccurate) answers to their assignments, it is important to examine more closely the implications it has on the future of society as a whole.

ChatGPT is similar to Google in its ability to answer a user’s question; it is unique, however, in its ability to simulate human interaction while doing so. While Google answers a search prompt by displaying a list of relevant websites, ChatGPT uses that website information to produce an original response answering the user’s question. What is startling about the program is the specific way in which it performs these tasks. ChatGPT does not just answer basic questions such as, “What is the theme of Hamlet?” Instead, one can ask distinct questions such as “Write a 300-word paper about a theme in Hamlet while using the voice of Donald Trump.” As ludicrous as this prompt may sound, ChatGPT has the capacity to instantly “write” this hypothetical paper.

While it may seem that ChatGPT is a Q&A form of artificial intelligence akin to Siri, it is much more proficient in generating customized responses that are formulated from expansive data sets. In fact, ChatGPT earned passing scores ranging from B to B- in a business management course at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. The growing popularity and capabilities of ChatGPT concerns many, as it seems inevitable that the chatbot will take over a multitude of tasks that are traditionally done by human beings.

According to the chatbot itself, ChatGPT is the future of online searching. In the robot’s words: “My fellow citizens, the time has come. The future is here, and it is called Chat-GPT. This revolutionary AI chatbot website is here to change the world, and we must embrace it with all our strength and determination.” 

Though the chatbot’s insistence that we “embrace it with all our strength” is somewhat unsettling, it must be understood that AI is only in its beginning stages; it is bound to grow in its ability to perform various tasks. ChatGPT may very well become the future of journalism, as it has the capacity to process data and compose original work on a particular topic. Based on its ever-growing knowledge, some theorize that ChatGPT may even become conscious.

Regardless of one’s opinion regarding ChatGPT, it is almost certain that such AI programs are here to stay. For this reason, society must learn to adapt to these innovations rather than suppress them.