Sam Altman — the CEO of OpenAI, which is behind the buzzy AI chatbot ChatGPT — said that the company will develop ways to help schools discover AI plagiarism, but he warned that full detection isn’t guaranteed.
“We’re going to try and do some things in the short term,” Altman said during an interview with StrictlyVC’s Connie Loizos. “There may be ways we can help teachers be a little more likely to detect output of a GPT-like system. But honestly, a determined person will get around them.”
Altman added that people have long been integrating new technologies into their lives — and into the classroom —and that those technologies will only generate more positive impact for users down the line.
“Generative text is something we all need to adapt to,” he said. “We adapted to calculators and changed what we tested for in math class, I imagine. This is a more extreme version of that, no doubt, but also the benefits of it are more extreme, as well.”
The CEO’s comments come after schools that are part of the New York City Department of Education and Seattle Public School system banned students and teachers from using ChatGPT to prevent plagiarism and cheating.
The bans have ignited conversations — especially among teachers — over how AI could transform the state of education and the ways that students learn at-large.
“I get why educators feel the way they feel about this,” Altman said. “This is just a preview of what we’re gonna see in a lot of other areas.”
But even though OpenAI has heard from teachers “who are understandably very nervous” about ChatGPT’s impact on things like homework, the company has also heard from them that the chatbot can be “an unbelievable personal tutor for each kid,” Altman said.
In fact, Altman believes that using ChatGPT can be a more engaging way to learn.
“I have used it to learn things myself and found it much more compelling than other ways I’ve learned things in the past,” he said. “I would much rather have ChatGPT teach me about something than go read a textbook.”
Altman said that OpenAI will experiment with watermarking technologies and other techniques to label content generated by ChatGPT, but he warns schools and national policy makers to avoid depending on these tools.
“Fundamentally, I think it’s impossible to make it perfect,” he said. “People will figure out how much of the text they have to change. There will be other things that modify the outputted text.”
Given how popular ChatGPT has become, Altman believes that the world must adapt to generative AI and that technology will improve over time to prevent unintended consequences.
“It’s an evolving world,” Altman said. “We’ll all adapt, and I think to be better off for it. And we won’t want to go back.”