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The Beacon

The Beacon

GALLERY: Prom 2024
GALLERY: Prom 2024
April 7, 2024

ChatGPT: its influence, its future…its threat?

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Launched as a prototype Nov. 30, 2022, by its developer OpenAl, an American research company that focuses on the limits and future of Artificial Intelligence (AI), ChatGPT followed the release of its sibling chatbot model, InstructGPT. In the 20th century, society stepped into a technological era with the release of multinational technology companies Google and Microsoft. Today in the 21st century, many wonder if society enters a new age of technology: the complete immersion of AI into society.

“It is still far too early in ChatGPT’s development to make this kind of sweeping prediction,” Breaking news of business and tech reporter for NBC News Digital, Rob Wile said. “Microsoft’s operating systems and Google’s search engine were immediately useful to users in a way that ChatGPT is not at this point.”

Today, ChatGPT has more than 100 million users, ranging from algorithmic engineers to highschool freshmen.

“It’s really easy to use. You can ask it a simple question and it will give you a straight answer, the exact answer you’re looking for,” sophomore Carlos Beckman said.

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However, ChatGPT has not reached its highest potential: the GPT-4 model (accessed via ChatGPT) is outdated and only shows new information as far as 2021.

Working behind its CEO, Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s Bing has invested greatly in ChatGPT and released their new project, with the chatbot fully updated to present information (that of 2023).

“The information [right now] is outdated by two years and there’s some questions you can’t ask. For example stock market questions,” Beckman said.

In an interview with The Verge’s Decoder podcast, Nadella explained the advancements he and his team have made towards their Bing goal.

“It is about essentially bringing…a more sophisticated model…the next generation model, compared to ChatGPT, and grounding it in search data. We added a co-pilot for the web, so that at any website…[it can] do things like summarization. All of these features essentially come together as the new Bing.”

In the meantime, as Microsoft scrambles to achieve access to the public through its Edge browser, the now accessible ChatGPT is recognized in the activities of students at MAST. Senior Camila Nedeff, a member of the Science Honor Society works in collaboration with other members to direct and produce their podcast, which covers many different topics relating to science. Just recently, a podcast on the pros and cons of ChatGPT was posted on their Instagram page.

“[We focused on] how they’ll affect…high schoolers,” Nedeff said. “Pros were…it helps you get your work done faster, but we’re trying to see more practical things too, like in coding or other work. Cons are…if you get caught [cheating].We were trying to see how it would affect creativity too… in art and just like all aspects…like an architect’s job.”

Effects on high schoolers are determined by ChatGPT’s influence and accuracy. Nedeff herself has some questions about the scope of ChatGPT’s influence.

“Hypothetically if [chatbot] became an accredited source would we be able to use it in research papers?”

A question made by all those who have learned about and tested the chatbot, however, has an answer more difficult to predict. What will the use of ChatGPT mean for the future of our technological society?

“Lots of companies are working to incorporate AI, though not in the way most people may realize. Most AI at this point is simply developing software that can process huge amounts of data and come up with consumer-facing responses,” Wile said. “For instance, one local example is the Miami Herald every week publishing real estate stories from an AI bot. There are lots of predictions right now about how AI could replace certain jobs, but it is very early in that process — if it ever actually happens.”

“It’s definitely the first step to automation, so a lot of journalism would die off,” Beckman said. “A lot of…work fields will die off because it’s just an AI that can do it all and probably better than a human.”

And so, the unease towards the thought of an “AI takeover” lingers as companies like OpenAI and Microsoft develop their algorithms and systems to better and more efficiently integrate AI into our modern society.

“There is a fear among some philosophers about a “Terminator”-like scenario where an AI becomes powerful enough to cause damage to humanity,” Wile said. “But the scenarios that are being outlined would require many things to go wrong, and the possibility of something truly disastrous happening for now remains remote.”

Some opinions shift away from unease, however, and focus on the benefits of such an event.

“It’s good though, because you can skip… hours of work and eventually it will replace certain jobs allowing us [a] more comfortable lifestyle. Instead of having manual labor we can use AI,” Beckman said.

Others, like Wile, see limits to the event’s threat.

“People still crave human interaction, so I remain optimistic that the takeover will not be as vast or severe or scary as others are predicting.

THE HISTORY OF ChatGPT

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About the Contributor
Mercedes Halliburton, Managing Editor
Mercedes Halliburton is a senior at MAST Academy. She is in her fourth year at the school, arriving in 2019 from St. Theresa Catholic School. Halliburton enjoys MAST more than her previous school because she believes that there is more freedom. Halliburton likes MAST because she enjoys swimming and water. She also enjoys reading and writing, saying that it is her favorite subject. Her least favorite subject is math, and her hardest year was junior year. She doesn’t have a least favorite teacher and she likes most of the teachers. She also likes MAST because it has a nice view and is so close to the beach. Even though MAST is fun, Halliburton claims it is also a challenging school with many hard classes.
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