ChatGPT

ChatGPT is a hot topic. It offers opportunities, but also carries risks. As a university, we feel a responsibility to make students and staff aware of the consequences of using this technology.

On this page you can read more about ChatGPT in relation to Radboud University. This page is updated regularly. Do you still have questions? If so, please contact info [at] ru.nl.

News

What is ChatGPT? 

ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence that provides fast, well-formulated answers to a variety of questions. The chatbot is based on OpenAI's large language model GPT-3 and is "trained" to conduct dialogues with a human user, such as answering questions and composing sentences.

Not your average chatbot

ChatGPT is not only able to understand your question, but also to interpret your question. In addition, ChatGPT remembers your conversation and can respond to previously asked questions and given answers. As a result, you can ask ChatGPT for clarification or go deeper into a topic. The chatbot is trained to billions of sources and can provide answers to a huge number of questions. It can be compared to Google, but unlike Google, ChatGPT also summarises the sources for you.

Development

In November 2022, OpenAI released the prototype of ChatGPT 3.5 to the public and it has been getting a lot of media attention ever since. The technology has since been used by millions of people worldwide.

Impact on the university

The applications of ChatGPT are broad and touch many activities within Radboud University, especially within education and research. For example, ChatGPT can help with answers to complex questions, with brainstorming, automatic summarising, writing texts and programming code, and correcting grammar mistakes.

Examination

Our initial focus is on ChatGPT's threat to examinations and assignments completed by students without a teacher or surveyor present. There has long been a desire to tailor assessment more to student learning, but ChatGPT has significantly increased this.

Opportunities

However, ChatGPT also offers many opportunities. Students can use this technology in their learning processes, for instance by asking for explanations or using the chatbot as a brainstorming partner. It can also benefit teachers: the chatbot can take work off their hands by formulating learning objectives, preparing a lesson plan or providing feedback.

Advice

More information and advice on using ChatGPT in education will soon be available for teachers, courses and exam boards. We would like to draw from the experiences teachers are currently gaining.

Fraud and policy

Despite ChatGPT's opportunities for education, there are also risks. Besides privacy risks, plagiarism and fraud are the university's main concerns. 

The use of text or programming code generated by ChatGPT in an examination, without mentioning it, falls within the definition of fraud or plagiarism as mentioned in the regulations on fraud. ChatGPT also falls within the 'unauthorised aids' as named in the integrity code of remote testing.

Own responsibility

There are several developments underway that counter plagiarism with ChatGPT. This may also require additional regulation, for example for examination. The reality is that we have to learn to deal with this new technology in education, with the fundamental question being: 'Can you use ChatGPT to improve your own learning process and, in addition, maintain your own responsibility for learning the material or developing knowledge and skills?' We expect students to take their own responsibility in this as well. 

Using ChatGPT

If you decide to use ChatGPT, please be aware that:

  • Everything you share with ChatGPT will be stored. The advice is not to share sensitive information.
  • Using ChatGPT is currently free, but it will not remain that way.
  • ChatGPT's servers consume a huge amount of energy (an average question costs a few cents in electricity).
  • Currently, ChatGPT is trained on sources up to 2021 and cannot answer questions about recent events, articles or insights.
  • The answers given are not always correct and ChatGPT does not reference the sources used, so you cannot check them.

Media

Journalists and other media parties looking for Radboud University researchers to comment on the developments around ChatGPT should get in touch with the Press Office & Science Communication department.

AI-research at Radboud University

024-3616000