By: Aidan Atance
What is Chat GPT?
ChatGPT is a fairly new AI neural network that is capable of generating text at a level previously unheard of in the public sphere. To summarize its capabilities, it is able to parse data that it’s been fed and respond to user input with a staggering level of competence, similar to an experience one may have with texting a human. But it’s capable of more than just conversing. One can ask it to write an essay for instance. They can specify the subject matter, the formatting, the specifications, and anything else they desire, which it will output a completed work. While the accuracy of the information ChatGPT provides varies, it will undoubtedly write a well-written response, making it a powerful tool for designing text-based projects.
It's important to note that, unlike humans, ChatGPT lacks awareness about the things it says. It pulls its information from a databank provided to it by Open AI, its creator, and what ChatGPT can and cannot say is partially determined by Open AI. What makes ChatGPT so special in our modern world is not its capabilities, of which many current AI is already capable, but rather its availability to the public. Open AI has released ChatGPT into public hands, marking a pivotal moment in the progression of not just AI, but our society as a whole.
Any individual with a working computer can currently use ChatGPT to their own benefit, for better or worse. As the technology improves and assuming some version of it remains public, we are sure to see the impact of its existence in the coming years if we haven’t already. I highly recommend you look at it yourself, if you haven’t already, to understand its full capabilities.
Should Chat GPT be Used to Improve Writing?
Since ChatGPT was released, its users have been quick to utilize it to assist in everyday tasks. One of the most common ways this is done is by having ChatGPT write an essay to one’s specifications, and then editing the created essay to account for inaccurate information. Alternatively, one may write the essay themselves and then submit it to ChatGPT for it to be edited and revised. I will make an argument in this article against both practices as I find that the acts undermine the writing process in both a practical sense, as well a sense involving integrity.
Chat GBT Removes Originality
To begin with, AI-assisted writing limits the voice of the writer. For practical purposes, I will be assuming that ChatGPT can produce essays with few structural flaws. The issue with AI writing is not then inaccuracy. From even a short session of using ChatGPT, one can see how impressive its capabilities are. The issue is that ChatGPT utilizes its own writing voice, which isn’t always consistent, and certainly isn’t consistent with your own. As you write, your writing voice begins to develop. By utilizing ChatGPT, you are both impeding this growth and simultaneously creating an uneven piece of work, or works, where the style is inconsistent throughout.
I also find the argument that AI-assisted work is one’s own to be lacking in both integrity and reason. It is unfortunate that some would go so far as to convince themselves that because the ideas fed to ChatGPT are their own, the writing itself is their own. It’s alright to ask for assistance in writing from other individuals and even computer programs, but to give a program full capacity to oversee and edit your writing is a step further than those things. However, by allowing AI to edit your writing it is no longer your own expression, at least not fully, and it shouldn’t be presented as such.
Chat GBT Impedes Communication and Understanding
This leads directly to the next problem, which is a lack of awareness about what is being written. Whether you use ChatGPT to edit or to create, you are removing your conscious decisions about word choice and sentence organization. If asked, you won’t be able to relay to someone why you chose a particular way to phrase something. You will ultimately become less intimate with your writing and at an extreme even ignorant of it.
One of the key advantages of being an author is being able to completely understand the text you’ve written, something you can never get elsewhere, no matter how deeply you analyze someone else’s work. Allowing an AI algorithm to partake in your craft, is to strip yourself of this privilege, resulting in an essay that is less uniform and less understood than it would otherwise be.
Chat GBT Can Stunt Humanity's Growth
Someone once argued to me that AI-assisted writing was simply the next evolution in the growth of human ideas. They compared the leap to the jump from spoken language to writing, which caused many philosophers at the time to criticize the processes of writing as reductive to the experience of thought. This is not an apt comparison, however, as in the previous case of thinking to write the thoughts were still one's own. In the case of ChatGPT, one is allowing an external force to change the author’s own expression of ideas.
Furthermore, the method by which ChatGPT sources its information is incestuous in nature. It develops its ideas from a bank of human knowledge. This means that nothing produced by AI can be new. It is unable to expand the limit of what we understand, and in that way is inferior to what can be produced by human design.