OP-ED: Chat GPT – A Useful Tool or a Crutch?


In the wake of artificial intelligence’s increasing prevalence in daily society, people and industries in all reaches of the world are being affected. From taking fast food orders to sorting algorithms, AI has become an essential part of our daily lives. Yet, a new creation marks one of the farthest steps forward in this industry, allowing ordinary consumers to experience the power and versatility of AI.

Chat GPT is a chatbot developed by Open AI, a company that has drawn the eyes and the attention of over 100 million users to date. It’s powered by a massive database, allowing it to access both language patterns, encyclopedia-levels of knowledge, and situational context. But Chat GPT’s most unique feature is its widespread availability to anyone with a computer. Within a few minutes, anybody can make an account on the platform and begin experimenting with its user interface. Yet, it’s also this ease of access that brings its greatest counter argument — namely that it has too great of a potential to be exploited.

ChatGPT itself stated when prompted about its shortcomings: “Relying on AI language models can discourage students from thinking critically and actively engaging in the learning process. If students rely solely on the information provided by ChatGPT, they may miss out on the opportunity to think creatively, ask questions, and develop their problem solving skills.” And ChatGPT’s self-assessment isn’t alone in this perception. Ms. Brackett, an APUSH teacher at Casa Grande stated, “It’s definitely innovative, but it poses a challenge for the educational world because there’s obviously great potential for misuse. There’s a lot of difficulties in preventing cheating with it.” And even outside of potential cheating, ChatGPT also has issues with presenting accurate information.

From illogical conclusions to downright wrong information, ChatGPT does encounter many struggles in sorting its database into flawless solutions. Take the below example, where ChatGPT was unable to solve a basic problem most humans could deduce nearly instantly.

Despite its mathematical reasoning being sound, its conclusion for a mere comparison of numbers was completely off. And when considering the relative simplicity of this problem, users can see where ChatGPT might easily fail in generating more complex or nuanced responses, whether it be in math or any other subject.

However, this example also provides for how ChatGPT might be utilizable as a helpful tool. Rather being used solely to generate answers, ChatGPT can teach accompanying logic to problems or provide a rough draft for a writer to improve on. Even with monotonous tasks like writing code or structuring a document, ChatGPT can help one be more efficient with tasks that require little critical thinking or actual human intelligence.

Ultimately, technology’s impact is determined by how well we utilize it. In being used for cheating, it will only serve to reduce our own education and hurt later skills in life. In being used as a resource, it can increase our productivity, helping people work through writing blocks or difficulties in understanding a concept.

Chat GPT can’t convey a writer’s voice. It can’t account for the underlying understanding of math concepts either. But ChatGPT can provide inspiration for prompts or problems we need extra help getting started on.

AI is a tool, and it is one that will be near impossible to completely block out from our education or lives. Rather than struggling in futile efforts to delay the inevitable, we should embrace AI such as ChatGPT to help us develop further as one civilization.