- ChatGPT could become a larger part of work as organizations look at how to deploy the technology.
- Workers with better familiarity with the technology may find a competitive advantage, insiders say.
- Even though some school districts banned ChatGPT, educators encourage students to play with AI.
Whether you love or hate generative AI like the viral success of ChatGPT, the technology is officially out in the wild, and Pandora’s Box has been opened.
For as much excitement as ChatGPT has stirred, there’s been an equally-strong backlash: School districts in cities like New York and Los Angeles have temporarily banned the use of ChatGPT for their students, while companies including Amazon and Goldman Sachs have reprimanded employees for using it with company data.
However, there’s an increasing consensus — from industry leaders like Bill Gates to professors at schools like Columbia Business School — that while it will take some time to figure out how best exactly to use it, the future belongs to those who build proficiency with using ChatGPT and systems like it.
In the same way that knowing how to use a web browser, word processing software, and email became standard office skills in the 90s and 2000s, some within the industry expect knowing how to get the best results out of ChatGPT to be table stakes for the next generation. Experts say that today’s students have a chance to get a head start.
“The rate of change is happening faster today that regardless of what generation you’re in, everyone is trying to learn ChatGPT because it’s going to be a competitive advantage, and not using it is to your detriment,” said Neil Sahota, a consultant at Ackius Advisory.
ChatGPT presents a teaching moment
When ChatGPT went viral, schools began to ban it over fears students will use the app to cheat on tests and write papers on their behalf. That concern was somewhat validated after ChatGPT managed to pass certain exams on its own.
But some in the education sector see the intrinsic value of ChatGPT, believing that a familiarity with AI will be an essential skill in the future.
“I encourage all my students to use ChatGPT to do their homework. I have one requirement: they just tell me that they use it, and specifically how they use it,” Columbia Business School professor Dan Wang told Insider.
Wang said he’s already noticed a difference in how students use the app. The students began to ask ChatGPT more complicated questions that showed they were using AI not to do the work for them, but rather to generate and explore different ideas.
Wang is not the only educator requiring students to try out ChatGPT. Wharton School of Business professor Ethan Mollick said the tool has been useful in the classroom and even helped non-English speaking students with their schoolwork. Mira Murati, chief technology of ChatGPT creator OpenAI, said the company believes the app can improve education and said it could personalize learning for students.
But, just like the internet in the 2000s, people will need to learn to interact with AI to do their jobs.
The potential for ChatGPT in education is there
New York City and Los Angeles were two of the largest public school systems that banned ChatGPT. But even though the app has been blocked from school computers, officials still understand there might be a need to introduce AI to students after some careful study.
Jenna Lyle, deputy press secretary for the New York City Department of Education, told Insider that the ban is temporary as administrators evaluate the application.
“We want our students to be exposed to the latest technologies and our schools to be at the forefront of innovation. It is essential, however, that we are thoughtful about phasing in these technologies in our educational settings and supporting students and educators around their use,” Lyle said.
She added the department is working with teachers, students, and “the tech community to look at how we can best leverage the strengths and innovation of these technologies to support our students’ futures.”
Ultimately, ChatGPT and AI will not go away, so you might as well learn how to use it to get a head start on others.