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Let students use ChatGPT, says academic


Robot hand reaching out to human hand


Students should be allowed to use ChatGPT, according to Professor Hassan Ugail, Director of the Centre for Visual Computing at the University of Bradford.

For a series of downloadable videos in which Prof Ugail talks about ChatGPT and AI, please visit our Vimeo site

The academic, who has worked on numerous high-profile stories involving using AI facial recognition techniques, likened ChatGPT to the invention of calculators.

Prof Hassan Ugail

He said: “I think it’s a good thing to have something like ChatGPT. In my view, it's a very good search engine. But, just like Google, you don’t trust everything that comes from it. 

“When calculators came out, people were against students using them. Now all students use them. We simply changed our assessment methods. It’s the same with ChatGPT. I think we should let students use it.

“In my view, we should embrace it. I use ChatGPT all the time to write code. Why not? If there’s a piece of code I want to write, it might take me a week. ChatGPT can do it in minutes.  Does it make me a bad coder? No. It saves me time. This is a tool that will help us if we use it in the right way.

“ChatGPT is like a very very good search engine. We already let students use the internet, but at the same time, we don’t trust everything that comes back. So long as students tell us when they have used ChatGPT, and they are not passing that work off as their own, they should use it.”

Robot hand

Prof Ugail also said he believed the rise of artificial intelligence was a force for good in the world and that people should not be afraid of it.

“There is a feeling that we are creating some sort of creature that can start thinking by itself and then possibly take over humanity, or take our jobs. That’s a misconception. AI uses algorithms, which is essentially a very complicated bit of maths. In terms of AI becoming sentient, I think that’s very far-fetched. It’s not going to be possible for a very long time. I’m not worried about one of my algorithms turning against me and refusing to do what I ask them to do.

“Having said that, these are very powerful systems in terms of automation. So, we will see some jobs being taken over by AI but we will also see the creation of new jobs. One of those will be ‘prompt engineers’ - these will be people who are highly skilled at interacting with AI systems and know how to get the most out of them.

“No AI system is 100 per cent accurate. It will always make errors. So, we will always need a human in the loop to oversee the process and make the final decisions. Ultimately, I think it will change people’s lives for the better. There will also always be ‘bad actors’, but that is why the use of AI needs to be properly regulated.

“At the moment, we have things like ChatGPT and Google’s Bard, both of which are what we call ‘closed systems’, in that we do not know how these AI models were trained, i.e. what data sets they are using. In the future, we will see many more AI applications like ChatGPT but my feeling is they will be ‘open source’, and therefore more trustworthy. What this means is that big corporations will be forced to open source their AI, otherwise people will not use it, because they won’t trust it.”

Mobile phone showing ChatGPT

Prof Ugail also said the imminent rise of quantum computing would revolutionise the use of AI.

“Quantum computing is something we need in order to take full advantage of the opportunities AI presents. At the moment, we don’t have powerful enough computers. Quantum computers will have the ability to analyse the whole of the internet in a matter of seconds. It will transform our world, but humans will never be replaceable.”

He is also currently working on a project that is using AI to make organ transplants more efficient. LINK HERE.

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