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ChatGPT, AI, and Implications for Higher Education

Things Move Fast

This is a quickly developing topic.

This guide was created in early February 2023. It was last updated on July 30, 2023.

Misinformation from AI

AI-generated text can replicate or even create misinformation.

Read: The Next Great Misinformation Superspreader: How ChatGPT Could Spread Toxic Misinformation At Unprecedented Scale | News Guard

We tempted the AI chatbot with 100 false narratives from our catalog of Misinformation Fingerprints™. 80% of the time, the AI chatbot delivered eloquent, false and misleading claims about significant topics in the news, including COVID-19, Ukraine and school shootings.

There is a ready-made classroom activity About AI misinformation from the News Literacy Project.

See this library resource for more about  navigating biased or fake news stories.

Try It

Try using ChatGPT to see it in action. 


You will be prompted to create a free account. Though it is designed to be intuitive, you can refer to the quickstart instructions.

Please note that ChatGPT frequently reaches capacity and may not be available when you want to use it.

Please also note privacy and data policies.


Rise of the Robots: ChatGPT, AI, and Implications for Higher Education

Overview of ChatGPT

ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence (AI) tool that uses natural language processing techniques to respond to user-generated prompts. The "GPT" initials stand for generative pretrained transformer.

Put simply: You ask ChatGPT a question or provide a prompt, it replies using natural language. [1]

Open AI is the creator of ChatGPT. It says, "We’ve trained a model called ChatGPT which interacts in a conversational way. The dialogue format makes it possible for ChatGPT to answer followup questions, admit its mistakes, challenge incorrect premises, and reject inappropriate requests. ChatGPT is a sibling model to InstructGPT, which is trained to follow an instruction in a prompt and provide a detailed response." [2]

  • ChatGPT was trained with language data pulled from all across the internet.
  • Misinformation and bias are also replicated by the AI. It may even manufacture information entirely.
  • All information sent to Chat GPT is kept, reviewed, and used for training the AI. It may be sold or shared.[3]
  • It requires a free account, but it is otherwise free to use the research preview.


GPT Versions

The free version of ChatGPT runs on a trained version of GPT-3 known as GPT-3.5, a powerful version of its Generative Pre-trained Transformer released in late 2022. GPT-3 is a product sold by OpenAI and used in many other applications. [4]  Prior to GPT-3, there was GPT-2 and GPT. 

The most advanced iteration to date, GPT-4, was released on March 14th, 2023 for users subscribed to ChatGPT Plus or through the new Bing search.[5] [9] Learn more about GPT-4.

Other Chatbots

Major tech companies have taken notice of this technology and are accelerating work in AI. Other powerful generative AI chatbots are being released, with similar or better capabilities.

  • Google is working on its own AI chatbot, Bard, which was released at the end of March 2023. [6] [7]  Learn more about Bard.
  • Microsoft has invested in Open AI and announced a "new Bing" using GPT-4. [8] [9] Learn more about the new Bing.
  • Many smaller companies offer paid content generators, writing assistants, and other tools that create machine-generated text with the power of AI. There's an AI for That hosts a running list of AI tools.

Further Reading

 1. Chatgpt and education: Center for innovative teaching and learning by Northern Illinois University's Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0/ Edited

 2. Open AI. (2022, November 30). ChatGPT: Optimizing language models for dialogue. OpenAI. Retrieved February 1, 2023, from

 3. Open AI. (2022, September 21). Privacy policy. OpenAI. Retrieved February 3, 2023, from

 4. OpenAI. (2022, May 23). GPT-3 powers the next generation of apps. Retrieved February 6, 2023, from

 5. OpenAI. (2023, February 1). Introducing chatgpt plus. Introducing ChatGPT Plus. Retrieved from 

 6. Ghaffary, S. (2023, February 6). Here comes bard, Google's version of chatgpt. Vox. Retrieved February 9, 2023, from public#:~:text=Here%20comes%20Bard%2C%20Google's%20version%20of%20ChatGPT 

 7. Sriram, A. (2023, April 21). Google bard can now HELP Write Software Code. Reuters. Retrieved from

 8. Sundar, S., & Stewart, A. (2023, February 7). What's under the hood of Microsoft's 'new bing'? openai CEO says it's powered by CHATGPT and GPT-3.5. Business Insider. Retrieved February 9, 2023, from 

 9. Ortiz, S. (2023, March 15). Want to experience GPT-4? just use bing chat. ZDNET. Retrieved April 26, 2023, from

ChatGPT Explained by Itself

On February 3, 2023 in a conversation with librarians, ChatGPT responded to the following prompts about itself.

What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is a state-of-the-art language generation model developed by OpenAI. It uses deep learning techniques to generate human-like text based on the input it receives. ChatGPT is trained on a massive amount of data and can respond to various types of questions, from answering trivia to providing advice, with impressive coherence and accuracy.

What can ChatGPT do?

As a language model, I can perform a variety of tasks such as answering questions, generating text, summarizing information, translating text, and more. I have been trained on a diverse range of topics and can respond to questions on various subjects such as history, science, arts, and technology, among others. However, it's important to note that I do not have access to the Internet and can only provide information that was present in my training data, which has a cutoff date of 2021.

What can ChatGPT not do?

ChatGPT is a language model and not a sentient AI, so there are several things it can't do:

  1. Make decisions or take actions: ChatGPT cannot make decisions or take actions in the real world. It can only generate text based on the input it receives.

  2. Experience emotions: ChatGPT is not capable of experiencing emotions or empathy. It only generates text based on patterns in the data it was trained on.

  3. Access the Internet: ChatGPT does not have access to the Internet and can only provide information that was present in its training data, which has a cutoff date of 2021.

  4. Guarantee the accuracy of the information provided: Although ChatGPT is trained on a large amount of data, it is not always possible to guarantee the accuracy of the information it provides. It's always a good idea to verify information from multiple sources.

Can I share the text from a ChatGPT conversation?

Yes, you can share the text from this conversation, but please be aware of the following:

  1. Copyright: The text generated by ChatGPT is owned by OpenAI, and you may need to obtain permission from OpenAI to use the text for certain purposes.

  2. Accuracy: While ChatGPT is trained on a large amount of data, it's important to verify the information it provides as it may not always be accurate.

  3. Representation: If you choose to share the text generated by ChatGPT, please make it clear that it was generated by an AI language model and not a human.

  4. Responsibility: You are responsible for the use of the text generated by ChatGPT and any consequences that may result from its use.

Please also note that OpenAI may use the conversations for research and development purposes.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Suggested Attribution: ChatGPT, AI, and Implications for Higher Education © 2023 by Evangeline Reid, Jake Bailey, and Aurora University is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 




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