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Ethical dilemma: ChatGPT’s impact on critical thinking in management students

, November 9, 2023, 0 Comments

While guiding two postgraduate management students to develop a case study for an upcoming case study conference in November 2023, Prof Manila realized that there were some disagreements among her students on a particular issue. Being known as a strict professor, she understands that students will not open up easily and she ignores the differences. But after a while when there was no significant progress in the case writing, she asked them directly. To her surprise, she found out that there was a conflict between both the students on using ChatGPT for the case writing. Ritika, a very intelligent and obedient girl, is not in favour of using the chatbot whereas Hardik, the curious and bright boy thought ChatGPT would be a handy tool in case writing. Though ChatGPT, an interactive conversational artificial intelligence-based chatbot has drawn much attention among the student fraternity and has become a very popular learning aid, still many educators are cautious about its safe use in educational space. There are divided attitudes among educators about the adoption of ChatGPT in educational settings. Many schools banned the use of ChatGPT stating the risk of using it to cheat assignments (Shen-Berro, 2023; The Guardian, 2023). The contradictory opinions among educators, and researchers, and the absence of clear guidelines from educational institutes created confusion among students on the adoption of GPT-3, the third iteration of GPT series by open AI, which is capable of thinking like humans. Prof Manila is amazed by the power of AI and appreciative of its potential usage as a learning aid to students that can provide model answers and stimulate understanding of any complex idea among students. To say yes or no to Hardik and Ritika, Prof Manila conducted an instant survey of 50 students on the ethical usage of ChatGPT. The result showed that 50% of students were neutral, 22% said no and 28% said yes to the question of whether the institute should adopt it ethically and the unexpected result puzzled
her even more.

CHATGPT OR THE GPT-3 AND ITS USAGE IN EDUCATION

ChatGPT or ‘Chat generative pre-trained transformer’ is an AI tool that was introduced to the common public on 30th November 2022 and grabbed more than a million subscribers in the first week of release. It is an open AI language model, capable of performing complex tasks like solving coding, produces human-like responses and is trained to use and produce a large dataset of human conversations. The chatbot uses deep learning techniques to understand, process and deliver natural human language with a high level of accuracy to even complex problems (Haque et al., 2022). The Generative Pre-trained transformer is developed by OpenAI (OpenAI LLC, Sanfrisco, USA) and is based on a neural network to process natural language and generate highly sophisticated output based on input text.chatgpt-chatfunctions-marketexpress-in

ChatGPT has the potential to provide an equitable learning experience based on the diverse backgrounds of the students. Prior input from any student makes the AI-bot understand the knowledge gap and the learning ability of the student and it will be able to provide a more personalised and effective learning experience to him/her. On the other hand, ChatGPT supports a teacher in virtual tutoring, creates more personalised content to be delivered, automates the grading process and above all assists in research and writing.

THE CRITICS ON CHATGPT

The accuracy of the generated content by ChatGPT is always doubtful which also poses a threat to its reliability. Innumerable ethical issues are raised against the adoption of ChatGPT in the education sector stating that, students might lose their critical thinking ability. Since readymade answers are available students would be lazy to think and find an answer. The tendency to cheat and plagiarize content would be intensified among the learning community.  How to detect plagiarized materials and prevent cheating using ChatGPT is not yet fully explored. The creation of fake or plausible information by ChatGPT is another major concern. Data security, especially the risk of exposure of personal and demographic data with multiple interactions with ChatGPT is another challenging area. This is true when the regulatory framework for the adoption and usage of ChatGPT is not in place and preventive laws and regulations are in the primitive stage. ChatGPT is even blamed for producing social biases, quite similar to any other tech-oriented search engine or social site. For example, an answer to a twit on the 10 most successful philosophers in the world conveyed the name of 10 white men. Educators should be watchful of the result of the generative AI-based model and should be aware of the limitations of the model.

CHATGPT SHOULD BE BANNED OR EMBRACED- STUDENTS, WHERE DO YOU STAND?

A survey among 50 postgraduate management students revealed that 80% of them sometimes use ChatGPT in learning and 8% always use it. The purposes of using the AI-based Chatbot are-

  • 62% of students use it to generate new ideas
  • 57% take support in solving assignments
  • 29% of students used for resolving syntax errors in coding
  • 39% found them useful in research work
  • 45% took assistance in developing content or in essay writing

However, the most surprising result of the survey revealed that 50% are neutral on whether the institute should allow the adoption of ChatGPT in the Academic regulatory framework. Only 28% agreed on it. This indicates that students are clueless about the ethical adoption of ChatGPT at an institute level. The Academic body should come up with a robust regulatory framework which specifies guidelines on the adoption of generative AI and addresses the ethical challenges posed by rapidly changing technology. Another crucial finding of the survey is that 22% of students thought that using ChatGPT in assignments is unethical, 68% are neutral and only 10% found using ChatGPT in assignments is ethical. The situation gets aggravated when we see that 62% of students feel that using ChatGPT might result in the reduction of their critical thinking ability. 26% are not sure about it and only 12% said that ChatGPT may not cause them to reduce their grasping and thinking ability. This is another indication that students have some fear or uncertainty about intense use of ChatGPT as a learning aid.

CONCLUSION

Any technological development will not come without challenges and ChatGPT brings both challenges and opportunities. As already students have adopted the Open AI language model there is no point of banning its use in educational institutions. ChatGPT is not a tool for only content creation, rather it has a huge capacity to transform the entire education system and very soon we will experience it. There is a continuous transformation from the 3rd version to the 4th version of the ChatGPT that accelerates the model to train itself and generate more accurate output. As an educator, we should engage with the AI tool and ensure the effective, safe and appropriate use of the AI-based language model in academic institutions. Rather than banning the usage in educational institutes and imposing very restrictive laws that hinder the growth of the generative AI model, the regulatory authority should come up with a governance mechanism, AI ethics framework and standard laws and regulations. The time has come to take the necessary steps to reduce the fear and uncertainty among students and teachers by educating them about the use of generative AI technologies.

 

QUESTIONS

  1. Should we embrace the adoption of ChatGPT with a defined regulatory framework?
  2. If yes, what are the specific issues should be addressed in our guidelines?

 

REFERENCES

  • https://www.cam.ac.uk/stories/ChatGPT-and-education
  • https://yourstory.com/2023/05/how-chatgpt-change-education-teaching-students-artificial-intelligence
  • Aleedy, M., Atwell, E., & Meshoul, S. (2022). Using AI Chatbots in Education: Recent Advances Challenges and Use Case. In Artificial Intelligence and Sustainable Computing: Proceedings of ICSISCET 2021 (pp. 661-675). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-19-1653-3_50
  • Haque, M. U., Dharmadasa, I., Sworna, Z. T., Rajapakse, R. N., & Ahmad, H. (2022). “I think this is the most disruptive technology”: Exploring sentiments of ChatGPT early adopters using Twitter data. arXiv. https://doi.org/10.48550/arXiv.2303.03836
  • Shen-Berro, J. (2023). New York City Schools blocked ChatGPT. Here’s what other large districts are doing  https://www.chalkbeat.org/2023/1/6/23543039/chatgpt-school-districts-ban-block-artificial-intelligence-open-ai
  • The Guardian. (2023). New York City schools ban AI chatbot ChatGPT. The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/jan/06/new-york-city-schools-ban-ai-chatbot-chatgpt