Ethics of ChatGPT
ChatGPT from OpenAI has been storming the internet for the last few weeks, and there’s a good reason. Not only can it have a fluent, seamless conversation in many languages, but it can also help with tedious daily tasks and even mimic human behavior (well, way of speaking). But is this something that we should be happy about? Or should we be worried?
Before we dive in deeper, let me introduce you to ChatGPT (in case you somehow missed it on social media). The child of OpenAI, ChatGPT, is a model which interacts conversationally and is not connected to the internet. However, it has been trained based on enormous amounts of conversations and data, meaning it can phenomenally mimic human behavior. You can ask it for a recipe for cookies, to write you a poem or code, plan an integration party or create a movie script. The possibilities are not endless but limited – and the biggest limiter is our creativity.
Does more, costs less (or 42$/month) – it’s that simple!
With all the valuable perks that ChatGPT delivers, it’s impossible to deny that it also presents some dangers.
As a kid, having access to an almost all-knowing program you can use for free to shirk homework is an absolute game-changer. In fact, to a 12-year-old, ChatGPT must seem completely powerful. Not only do you no longer need to write an essay about a boring character from a book in literature class, but you also don’t have to calculate repeating quadratic equations (although there are different and better tools for math applications, the outcome is similar). Instead of creating a presentation script about genomes for biology class, you just simply have to type the question into ChatGPT and adjust its work if needed and voila! The tool saves us an incredible amount of time, which we can now spend on different activities, some good for our physical and psychological development and others not much. So it may seem that using ChatGPT is beneficial overall, right? Well, unfortunately, it’s not that simple.
The new creativity killer – silent but deadly
With great power comes great responsibilityUncle Ben
ChatGPT is powerful, but there is a lot to think about regarding the outcomes of its work. We aren’t lawyers, so we won’t discuss the right to code or get into essays written by this AI model – but it certainly is a fascinating discussion.
We could write about code quality and responsibility for bugs, but as it has yet to be fully used commercially, we’ve decided to go for a different angle. As we have quite a few people on our team who have worked with children or have children themselves, as well as some of Europe’s most creative individuals, we’re going to focus on the potential effects ChatGPT will have on children and young minds.
Even though homework is not the best tool to gain knowledge, it does two things: it teaches us how to find information (and, sometimes, to confirm that our sources are credible) and, most importantly, to create. It develops memory alongside critical thinking, creating new pathways in the brain and helping students retain acquired knowledge for exams and the future.
Embracing creative solutions that enable kids to create improves our society, giving hope that future generations might be able to make a better world for all of us than the one we are currently living in. Unless, of course, we eliminate creativity by using tools such as ChatGPT.
The brain is like a muscle – when not used, it disappears. Allowing kids to solve tasks using AI could result in a decline in creativity, intelligence, and a lack of well-developed pathways in their brains that would otherwise be very useful in adult life.
To use, or not to use? That is the question
You might think that we consider ChatGPT negatively or even as a harmful, evil computer being – but that isn’t the case. To be completely honest, we have mixed feelings. On the one hand, we have an exciting, powerful new tool that allows us to work less, but with a similar outcome; a helper in tedious tasks or a guide when we are stuck and in need of creative inspiration. But on the other hand, the use of AI by children could lead to severe consequences when it comes to brain development and lead to a less innovative, less creative, and co-dependent society. Our key takeaway? Like with many other things in life: use it with caution and keep it (partially) away from children.