Let’s CHAT about ChatGPT

Since it’s launch, ChatGPT has got the world, well, chatting!

What is it exactly?

In its most basic version, ChatGPT (Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer) accesses resources on the internet that are open to the public in order to provide an answer to a question.

It is basically a free chatbot launched by OpenAI in November 2022. The core function of a chatbot is to mimic a human conversationalist, but ChatGPT is way more versatile. It can, for example, write and debug computer programs; compose music, teleplays, fairy tales, and student essays; answer tests; write poetry and song lyrics; and play games like tic-tac-toe.

ChatGPT is not unique. Jasper is a paid for version that enables you to create social media posts, advertising, write articles, blogs, emails and even design websites and create art. And Google has recently introduced Bard, its new rival and competition for ChatBot GPT.

What are the pro’s and con’s?

I asked the chatbot this very question: What are the pros and cons of ChatGPT? And this was its (very quick) answer:

ChatGPT is a powerful language model that has several benefits and drawbacks.


ChatGPT is trained on a large dataset of text, which allows it to generate human-like responses to a wide range of prompts.

It can be fine-tuned for specific tasks such as language translation, question answering, and text summarization.

It can generate text that is coherent and grammatically correct, which makes it useful for tasks such as text generation and language translation.


ChatGPT is a neural network model, which means it can be prone to making mistakes or providing irrelevant responses.

It is a large model and requires significant computational resources to run, which can be a limitation for some applications.

It has the potential to perpetuate and amplify biases present in the data it was trained on

It has a tendency to generate repetitive or generic responses, especially when faced with open-ended or poorly defined prompts.

So, in a nutshell: it can give you answers to your questions, but they may not always be right!

What does this mean for our education system? Whilst ChatGPT might seem like a holy grail learning solution, it is important to remember that it can’t replace the importance of learning critical thinking, reasoning and human interaction in education.

Pros and Cons for Learners


Research: ChatGPT can help learners quickly access information, making research and homework assignments faster and more efficient.

Suggestions on writing: It can help learners improve their writing skills and better express their thoughts and ideas as well as check grammar and sentence construction.

Personalised learning: It can personalise the learning experience, by providing tailored and interactive responses based on the student’s proficiency and learning style.

Language learning: It can be used as a tool for language learning, helping students practice speaking and writing in a foreign language with an AI tutor.

On-demand access to educational content: It can provide students with unlimited access to educational resources and support.


Lack of human interaction: ChatGPT may reduce the need for human interaction in the classroom, potentially leading to a lack of personal connection and support for students which may be detrimental to learners’ social and emotional development.

Reduced critical thinking: Learners may become overly dependent on technology for information and learning, potentially hindering their ability to think critically and solve problems on their own.

Inaccurate information: It may not be able to fully understand the context of a learner’s question, resulting in inaccurate or unhelpful responses, which may lead to confusion.

Lack of empathy: It may not be able to provide the same level of empathy or emotional support as a human teacher or counsellor.

Generic responses: It may not be able to adapt to different learning styles, cultural backgrounds, or special needs learners.

Pros and Cons for Teachers


Personalisation: ChatGPT can be used to create customised learning experiences for each learner based on their individual needs and abilities.

Efficiency: It can automate repetitive tasks such as grading, providing feedback, and creating educational content, saving time for teachers and allowing them to focus on providing individual support and instruction to learners.

Flexibility: It can be used to create a variety of innovative and creative educational resources such as interactive tutorials, study guides and online learning quizzes.

Adaptability: It can be used to create adaptive learning systems that can adjust to a learner’s performance and provide targeted support.

Accessibility: ChatGPT can be used to create educational resources that are accessible to students with disabilities, such as those who are visually or hearing impaired.


Job loss: With the ability of ChatGPT to automate repetitive tasks such as grading, providing feedback, and creating educational content, there may be concerns that it will lead to job loss for teachers.

Dependence on technology: Teachers may become overly dependent on ChatGPT, which could limit their creativity and ability to develop unique approaches to teaching and learning. It could also lead to a lack of understanding of the underlying concept of the subject which will make it difficult to troubleshoot when the technology is not available.

Limited human interaction: ChatGPT may limit the human interaction between teachers and students, which can be detrimental to students’ social and emotional development. Teachers may also miss the opportunity to provide individualised feedback and support, which is essential for student growth and success.

Limited understanding of the technology: Teachers may have a limited understanding of how ChatGPT works and its capabilities. This could lead to teachers not being able to fully utilise the technology to its full potential or even using it in an incorrect way.

Limited creativity: Over-reliance on ChatGPT-generated content may limit the creativity of teachers in developing their own educational materials. It may also make them less inclined to develop their own assessment methods or ways of providing feedback.

Can we stop it being used by learners?

Limiting the use of phones and smart watches during test / exam conditions is a reality we currently deal with anyway. The real impact will be on education methods that involve traditional types of assignments / homework – research, projects, essays. There are bots designed to pick up plagiarism (such as Hugging Face) but this feels a bit like trying to close the cage after the tiger has run!

Concerns around cheating could be dealt with by:

  • Focussing on the research and writing process rather than just the result
  • Designing assessments around shorter, in-class writing exercises to help students learn those valuable skills
  • Including more creative, interactive, problem-solving and collaborative assessments – requiring learners to apply what they have learnt to real-world situations
  • Checking out the advice from the developers of ChatGPT themselves to address these concerns, and
  • Trying some of the detecting tools (though they’re not foolproof).

Should we even try and stop it?

Artificial intelligence is unable to engage in abstract or critical thought – so it is frequently unable to provide suitable responses to issues that need such thinking.

As educators, putting our heads in the sand will do our learners no service. Maybe fear and bans isn’t the answer. Examining and discussing these new developments will not only help our students understand the potential uses—and limitations—of these tools, but also think about the broader context and impact of tools that can fundamentally alter how we do things.

We’ll have to adapt to account for it by teaching learners how to:

  • Use it properly
  • Filter out incorrect information and data
  • Think about and apply the information and data gathered.

How will it likely change teaching methods and approaches?

This has just accelerated the speed of accessing what is already available to leaners who have been using web browsers to gather info. It’s just another tool, but one whose results must undergo careful scrutiny before being used in any research project.

The challenge posed to educators is how to concurrently teach and enhance critical and original thinking, analysis, opinion forming, debate, solution finding. We’ve faced the challenge of technological developments before, and this is yet another opportunity to transition from fear to acceptance.

Chatbots could help with routine schoolwork so that students can concentrate on more complex topics – like generating ideas that can then be evaluated. Getting learners involved in identifying challenges and opportunities themselves is a great first start. Some ideas around this include:

  • Debating whether and how well AI can deal with plagiarism, inaccurate information and fake news
  • Given that the software takes information and text from all over the internet, what are the ethics involved?
  • Is the program stealing the intellectual property of others?
  • Analysing strengths and weakness of the AI writing. What does it do well, and what is it missing?
  • Considering where this type of tool might be most useful and where it’s not.

Teachers can use this tool to their own advantage by making use of it to build interactive quizzes, games, and other engaging activities to enhance their regular teaching approaches – making them more interactive and interesting for their students. If we can do this successfully, it is likely to usher in a new era of critical and fundamental thinkers, and visionary leaders – which our world desperately needs!

Can it be harnessed for good?

Accessing vital info at every increasing speed is a massive benefit in the world we live in. It’s a no-brainer that it’s a huge benefit to have a resource like this which can simplify complex topics, like explaining new discoveries in space to kids. Making sure that the info is solid and can be relied upon is the challenge.

Educators will need to instruct learners on how to make ethical use of language models and give them criteria for determining whether or not the information produced by the model is trustworthy. For this, educators will need to use ChatGPT and become familiar with it themselves!

New York Times recently asked a host of celebrities as well as ChatGPT: What are the things we do today that will seem embarrassing to our future selves — the stuff that will make us cringe when we look back on the early 2020s?

ChatGPT’s reply was: Overreliance on technology: Our overdependence on smartphones, social media and other digital devices will likely look outdated in a few years as new technologies emerge.

The oracle has spoken.

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