There’s a new artificial intelligence-powered chatbot known as ChatGPT that can answer questions, generate essays and even write scientific papers from a short prompt.
Kristian Hammond, professor of computer science at Northwestern University and director of the Center for Advancing Safety in Machine Intelligence, described ChatGPT as a “large language model.”
“It’s a system that was built by training a training computer on not just hundreds, not just thousands, but millions upon millions of documents,” Hammond said. “What it ends up learning is the relationship between words so what it can do is when you ask it a question, it will find the words that make sense to it from a statistical point of view as an answer to that question.”
ChatGPT has prompted some school districts in New York and Los Angeles to block access to the chatbot on their networks and school computers.
Other districts, including Chicago Public Schools, are still weighing ChatGPT’s value in the educational system and are looking for potential risks to students.
Hammond said that while ChatGPT can write essays, it’s still missing an important factor.
“[The essays] always sound good, but they will often be filled with things that just aren’t true,” Hammond said. “ … The thing that’s interesting about it is that it doesn’t know about truth or falsehood, it doesn’t know about the world at all. It knows about the relationships between words, and that’s what drives it.”