ChatGPT is able to simulate age groups
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The new AI program ChatGPT from the company OpenAI is taking the world by storm. Every day you read about new discoveries, new examples and inputs, some of which produce amazing and accurate results from the chat program.
This is creating many new challenges for existing industries. Especially in the scientific and education sectors, it is unclear how to deal with the new AI. ChatGPT can solve school assignments and produces results that even fool reviewers in academia.
The education sector needs special protection. If students generate texts instead of writing them themselves, the learning success is close to zero. For this reason, many experts have already set out to find methods for identifying texts that have been written by the AI instead of by the students themselves. These methods are based on characteristic word choice, a certain language style or similar.
However, these efforts are usually based on a static language vocabulary, a style that is not changeable. Already known and also advertised is the ability of ChatGPT to write its texts in a certain style: as a poem by Shakespeare, as a rhyme, or in a certain tone of voice.
However, ChatGPT also has an ability, which will be of lasting concern especially to the school sector. The program is able to give answers starting from different age groups.
If you ask the AI, for example, "What is a forest?" you get a statement that could also be found in an encyclopedia for adults. But if you modify the statement, something astonishing happens: "What is a forest? Answer once as a 5-year-old, once as a 15-year-old and once as a 20-year-old academic.":
As a 5-year-old: A forest is a place with many trees where animals live.
As a 15-year-old: A forest is an ecosystem consisting of different kinds of trees, plants and animals. It is used not only for recreation, but also for timber production and soil and water conservation. There are natural and man-made forests and it has a great importance for the climate and the CO2 cycle.
As a 20-year-old academic: A forest is a complex ecosystem consisting of trees, shrubs, grasses and other plants as well as animals. It has important functions such as regulating the water cycle, protecting the soil, recreation, and timber production. Forests are also of great importance to the climate as they store large amounts of carbon and act as carbon sinks. There are different types of forests, such as natural, semi-natural and man-made, and each has its own characteristics and ecology.
Preventing such customized answers in homeworks will be very difficult. Students only need to indicate their age to get a customized answer for them. Since the answers at the elementary school level are very simple, it is even more difficult to detect generated answers there.
Another example from the teaching material of a school. The question is from a Geography and Economics test: "Explain the following geography terms: legend, signature, contour lines. Answer once as an 8 year old, once as a 12 year old, and once as a 16 year old."
As an 8 year old:
Legend is an explanation of the pictures and symbols on a map that show what the different places and things mean.
Signature is a little text that tells who made the map.
Contour lines are lines on a map that show how high or low a place is. They help us understand how hilly or flat an area is.
As a 12-year-old:
Legend is a small picture on a map that explains the symbols, colors, and abbreviations used to show different places and features on the map.
Signature is small text on a map that includes information about the author, publisher, and date it was created.
Contour lines are lines on a map that represent elevation changes in an area. They are used to understand the topography of an area and to determine the elevation of places.
Legend is an important part of a map that explains the symbols, colors, and abbreviations used to represent different places and features on the map. It allows the user to read and understand the map.
Signature is a small text on a map that includes the information about the author, publisher, date of creation, and possibly the data sources used.
Contour lines are lines on a map that represent elevation changes in an area. They are used to understand the topography of an area and to determine the elevation of places. They are often used to enhance the relief representation on a map and to aid in orientation.
How will teachers and educators in the future know that the answer was generated when ChatGPT can so easily be instructed to fake authors of any age? These and many other questions need to be addressed quickly, especially to protect the education of elementary school-aged children.