Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, the company behind the popular artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot ChatGPT, has responded to concerns that it could be used to cheat on exams.
In an interview, Altman said OpenAI will develop a way to help schools identify AI cheating. But he warned that there is no guarantee that cheating will be fully detected. Altman said, “We’re going to try to do some things in the short term, and maybe some ways to help schools more easily detect cheating like the ChatGPT system. But frankly, some people may find ways to get around the detection.”
He added, “People have been incorporating new technologies into their lives as well as their classrooms for a long time, and these technologies will only have a more positive impact on users. Generative text, for example, is something we all need to adapt to. I think we adapted to the calculator and changed what we were tested on in math class. There’s no question that ChatGPT is the more extreme technology, but it also brings greater benefits.”
Altman’s comments come after the New York City Department of Education and the Seattle Public School System banned students and teachers from using ChatGPT to prevent plagiarism and cheating. These bans have sparked discussions about how AI is changing the state of education and how students learn, especially among the teacher community. Altman said:I understand why educators feel this way, and soon we may see the same thing in many other fields.”
Altman said that while OpenAI has heard from some teachers about the impact of ChatGPT on things like student homework, there are many who believe that chatbots can be “the most competent personal tutor for every child.
In fact, Altman believes that using ChatGPT can be a more engaging way to learn. I use it myself to learn new things and find it more engaging than other learning styles,” he says. I’d rather have ChatGPT teach me things than go through a textbook.”
Altman said OpenAI will experiment with watermarking and other technologies to mark up content generated by ChatGPT, but he warned schools and national policymakers to avoid relying on these tools. Altman said, “Fundamentally, I don’t think it can be perfect. People need to figure out how much text they need to modify, and of course, there will be other things that modify the output.”
Given the growing popularity of ChatGPT, Altmann believes the world will have to adapt to the emergence of generative AI. Over time, the technology will continue to improve to prevent unintended consequences. It’s a constantly changing world, and we all have to learn to adapt,” he says. I think it’s better that way. We don’t want to go back to the past.”