ChatGPT in Academia
Updated: Mar 6
Since its public launch in late 2022, ChatGPT, with its myriad applications, has over 1 million users already. With a fairly intuitive interface similar to a regular chat bot, ChatGPT generates content on any conceivable topic. As ChatGPT is being quickly adopted across various fields, what does this mean for academia and research?
With about 175 billion parameters, ChatGPT can generate a well-sourced answer to just about any question in hand. As there is a rising fear in academia about students coming to overly rely on this tool for their papers and essays, many universities across the world have already begun placing bans on the use of ChatGPT in academic work. But the actual question that academia needs to reflect on is why most academic tasks often measure a student’s ability to collate and reproduce facts as opposed to fostering genuine, original thought among students.
Over time, academia has come to embody rigid, obsolete systems which equate success to the completion of tedious, time-consuming tasks that barely assist with real world skill development and often stifle creativity and innovation. If anything, the advent of a tool such as ChatGPT forces academia to reinvent itself to create an environment where students acquire the art of asking the right questions and develop more holistic perspectives on their areas of interest. This is an opportunity for academia to rise beyond the constraints of traditional education to adopt a system that rewards human ingenuity and facilitates every student to discover their Ikigai – the development of a passion or interest in a way that can contribute valuably to the fast-evolving world around them.
As there is a growing acceptance around the use of spell-check, citation and data analysis tools, it is essential to acknowledge that ChatGPT also constitutes a tool to augment and enhance our educational and research experiences while reducing error and the time spent on redundant tasks. While it may challenge our existing educational paradigms and set in motion unprecedented changes, human resilience to acclimatize to every new curveball thrown our way marks its legacy of intelligence on this planet.
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