What is ChatGPT?
ChatGPT is a tool powered by artificial intelligence that can output conversational and formal written text. ChatGPT is considered a type of “chatbot” tool; users who access this tool can type in a question or a prompt and the ChatGPT tool will respond with a clear and cogent written answer.
Recent press coverage in The New York Times, Wired, The Atlantic, Nature, MIT Technology Review, and other major popular publications cover the wide range of concerns and possibilities with using ChatGPT particularly in academic contexts. Namely, many of who have tried using ChatGPT express concern that it can dupe readers into believing that the text composed was written by a human rather than by a machine. In fact, The New York Times generated a quiz where users can assess whether they can detect which writing samples were written by ChatGPT and which were written by human authors.
There are several advantages and disadvantages to using ChatGPT for learning and, ultimately, it will be up to individual departments and faculty to decide how they best see the potential and pitfalls of using ChatGPT and other similar emerging tools in their courses.
In the remainder of this page, we outline some of the opportunities and threats posed by ChatGPT and similar technologies and then go on to outline a range of pedagogical strategies instructors can use to harness the power of the AI to further their learning goals.
Please note that ChatGPT is not a supported tool here at UC Berkeley. That means that UC Berkeley has not reviewed ChatGPT for concerns with accessibility, privacy, and security. As such, if instructors choose to use ChatGPT for their teaching, they assume responsibility for reviewing and vetting concerns with accessibility, privacy, and security. Instructors should remain open to giving students alternative options for completing an assignment if ChatGPT is inaccessible to them in any way. Please consider working with the Disabled Students' Program (DSP) for ideas on how to explore accessible alternatives as needed.
Numerous AI detection tools have emerged to address the use of ChatGPT, but, as with ChatGPT itself, none of these tools have been reviewed for accessibility, privacy, and security. Using these detection tools could also lead to FERPA, privacy, and copyright violations given that using these tools require faculty to input examples of student work into a third-party software. We do not recommend that instructors rely upon AI detection tools to identify usage of ChatGPT for writing and, instead, encourage faculty to engage in converastion with their students about appropriate (and inappropriate) usage of ChatGPT for their courses.
Technology like ChatGPT continues to evolve and it’s likely that advice about how, when, and when not to use ChatGPT will continue to shift in kind. These are a few starting points that may help in conversations about student usage of this tool. Note that these ideas are intended to be educational and are not yet driven by any institutional policy.
This page will remain a work-in-progress and will be updated as use cases and engagement with ChatGPT technology continues to evolve.
Additional contributors: Mary Ann Smart, for her contributions to the activity ideas featured on this page. Cathryn Carson, for her contributions to some of ChatGPT's threats.