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  • Kate McFarland '24 & Kai Lamb '24

ChatGPT Causes Controversy at Vanderbilt

Following a shooting at the Michigan State University which resulted in three deaths, controversy arose at Vanderbilt University after they sent a consoling email to the student body that was written by ChatGPT.

ChatGPT is artificial intelligence that is capable of gathering information and producing a response to any question, in just a matter of seconds. At the end of the school’s email to students in regard to the horrific shootings, it read, “Paraphrased from OpenAI’s ChatGPT AI language model, personal communication, February 15, 2023.” By using ChatGPT to write an email approaching such a sensitive and devastating subject, many people say the school has lost its credibility. For a university that is so wellestablished and held in high-esteem, the carelessness of using a website commonly used for cheating is shocking.

This website has received a lot of backlash from high schools and universities recently because it’s a form of cheating, and it promotes a lack of effort and lying. SI’s Nico Baria '24 asked, “If a school like Vanderbilt uses and normalizes ChatGPT, don’t you think that students around the US will start to use it more and more?” Students might see this use of the website as acceptable.

Not only does this diminish the actual learning of America’s youth, but it builds a gaping divide of distrust between students and their educators. Students feel like their teachers do not care about their mental health and grievances. Educators fear that their students will not learn and instead cheat on their assignments.

It is still very difficult for schools to determine whether or not students use this AI generator, so the future of using computers in education is uncertain. If ChatGPT is normalized by universities, then what does that say about the academic integrity of those educating the newer generations?

Kate McFarland '24 & Kai Lamb '24 are Vo. 71 Contributing Editors

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