University Apologizes for Using AI to Write Letter to Students About Shooting

University Apologizes for Using AI to Write Letter to Students About Shooting

Last week, staff at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee wrote a thoughtful and heartfelt letter about coming together as a community in response to the mass shooting at Michigan State University. But it turns out that the letter itself is from the AI ​​program ChatGPT.

The university is now apologizing for the letter written by the AI, calling it “bad judgment”. according(Opens in a new window) For The Vanderbilt Hustlerthe student newspaper.

“While we believe in the message of inclusivity expressed in the email, using ChatGPT to generate communications on behalf of our community in times of grief and in response to tragedy contradicts the values ​​that characterize Peabody College. “, the school reportedly told students in a follow-up email.

Vanderbilt University Peabody College staff made no secret of using ChatGPT. The end of letter(Opens in a new window) mentions “Paraphrase of OpenAI’s ChatGPT AI language model”. But the decision to outsource the letter to a computer program doesn’t sit well with the university’s superiors.

The letter

Screenshot of the letter (Credit: Vanderbilt University)

“I am also deeply troubled that a communication from my administration so missed the crucial need for personal connection and empathy during a time of tragedy,” writing(Opens in a new window) Camilla Benbow, dean of education at Peabody College.

The letter contains the signature of an Associate Dean named Nicole Joseph, who will now step down from her role on the decision to use ChatGPT. According to Benbow, the letter “did not follow normal Peabody processes of multiple layers of review before being sent.”

“University administrators, myself included, were unaware of the email before it was sent,” she added.

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Why the university operated ChatGPT in the first place has not been said. But it’s clear that AI programs can write professional-looking text in seconds, making it easier for any human to write a blog post, an article, or a seemingly personal letter to a friend or member. of the family. But the ethical implications of using technology remain in question when other computer-generated text is often treated as spam. Ironically, many teachers and schools start exclude ChatGPT is concerned about students using technology to cheat on homework.

Meanwhile, Vanderbilt University students are criticizing the school for using ChatGPT to write the letter. “There’s a sick, twisted irony in having a computer write your message about community and unity because you can’t bother thinking about it yourself,” said one student. The Vanderbilt Hustler.

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