No, this is not another opinion article co-authored with ChatGPT! The recent submission of some scientific articles identifying ChatGPT as a co-author reported by nature surprised many people. The debate is installed and several notables risk predicting that this technology will represent the end of the activity of many universities.
Since the invention of the printing press, in 1430, by Gutenberg, the academic task of identifying content in texts that allows exploring, deepening, analyzing and, later, integrating in a new text the answer to a question or inspiring a poetic or philosophical intention has passed to be facilitated. Since then, the technologies that have made academic activity faster are varied: from photocopiers to digital, from Internet search engines to Wikipedia. And, more recently, ChatGPT (made public in November 2022) which, in two or three seconds, not only manages to search the immense digital content at its disposal, identifying pertinent meaning for the requested academic task, but also manages to write text coherent new and original from its tremendous algorithmic processing capacity. It’s amazing and frightens some people, but delights others.
The academic task begins with an intention of inquisitive exploration, be it ethical, aesthetic, scientific or technological. And this ability to formulate a question, or to initiate an academic task, with creative intentionality comes from human consciousness and is not necessarily algorithmic, even though the answers can be. It’s not just about inductive-deductive reasoning, it’s about conscious intentionality. It really is the dream that commands life. And whenever you dream, the world jumps and moves forward. And it is in this dream that we find the conscious intentionality that leads us to question, to inquire and to seek answers. It is this dream, the vision of where we want to go that comes from human consciousness, that initiates the academic task. Well, many of the steps we have to take to get there are algorithmic. Put another way, ChatGPT answers questions but doesn’t ask them.
The fruits that the advance obtained by the famous STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) supplies will now be harvested and savored by philosophy. Universities that only teach and evaluate based on the memory of answers perceived as certain will certainly be challenged and, inevitably, transformed. The university will have to be more concerned with awakening the ability to question, to develop visions of the future, that is, to dream and to have inquisitive initiative. We welcome Dataism as it promises to help build the answers!
The university will become more robust and fundamental to human progress and success. With these tools, you will be at the forefront, if you weren’t already, of discovery and innovation to solve the problems and threats facing humanity. Let us be able to help form students with a critical sense, aware of and committed to the problems of humanity so that they are able to dare to question and dream and the world will move forward. Algorithms certainly accelerate the construction of this advance and that’s just as well, because we don’t have much time to solve some problems. So let’s focus now more on direction than on speed. Direction will always be more important than speed and this is something the university cannot forget.