ChatGPT is Invading Education and Art

Percy Bartelt, staff writer

Don’t get me wrong — while ChatGPT is an amazing feat in regards to technological advancement, people will always use wondrous things for all the wrong reasons. Every major news outlet — USA Today, Los Angeles Times and The Guardian, to name a few — has reported on the generative artificial intelligence, a type of software that uses deep learning to create new content, and all levels of schools have expressed their concerns about students cheating by using ChatGPT.

Personally, in my class, I have seen ChatGPT at work and I have to admit that though it’s wild and very cool, it’s honestly terrifying. There are many helpful qualities and ways that it can be used, like creating a schedule if you’re short on time. All you have to do is input your criteria and ChatGPT will put it together for you and it does it in an easy-to-comprehend way and as if you’re having a conversation with someone. This is probably why Bing is adapting a version of ChatGPT in their new search engine. It’s comprehensible, useful and convenient, so of course students will use it — I know I will!

However, other people — teachers and universities — are seeing the dangers of using ChatGPT, especially when it comes to writing essays. Though I will say that there are some ways of distinguishing what’s a student and what’s a robot, with short answers to more straightforward questions — how can anyone tell? With that in mind, is the student really learning anything? Sure, their grades are great, but what information are they retaining if they rely on this site for completing work? That’s what teachers and instructors are mostly worried about, sending a cheating little kid into the world without actually knowing anything. However, according to the Austin American-Statesman, universities in Texas are looking on the bright side, because they want to use ChatGPT as a tool, which was the site’s original intention. I think it’d be perfect for the job. 

Not only are educational spaces being invaded by ChatGPT, but artistic and creative spaces are seeing the damage done by artificial intelligence as a whole. The New York Times reported that, during the Colorado State Fair’s art competition, Jason Allen won first place in the painting category without even picking up a brush. Instead, he used Midjourney, an A.I. program that takes text and turns it into an image. This sparked controversy within art communities, and for good reason. While the image is aesthetically pleasing, where did the A.I. gather its sources and codes from? The answer: from original works all over the internet, made by actual artists. That is how A.I. operates. That’s how it’s able to do its job — it basically does research so you don’t have to, just like whenever you ask Siri a question and she goes on the entire web to find your answer. Artificial intelligence is literally incapable of producing an original thought. It has no conscience, no thought process, no experience other than what the internet and its source code tells it to do — but there also tend to be specific coded biases from the creators of A.I. programs all around.

Despite people arguing that A.I. can create new things, it simply isn’t true. ChatGPT in particular can be asked to write books or screenplays, but even that is gathering its input from around the internet and putting it together to fit the criteria that you, as a user, entered. I cannot stress enough that it is incapable of creating original works, no matter the technicality of the A.I. “creating something.” There is no substance. No taste. No originality. Only codes. 

I think ChatGPT is better off as a tool to help you gather information whilst citing the sources it finds, answering general questions you have, or even building schedules or plans when you really don’t have time. But it will never — and can never — replace art or the artist.