Where do students go to learn about ChatGPT? TikTok has the answers. Its search functionality and algorithms drive traffic where traffic wants to go, into the depths of user-driven interest in AI technology. In this blog, I take a dive into TikTok content responding to ChatGPT’s use in the university classroom.
TikTok is chock-full of tips on how to user ChatGPT and similar AI technologies. User JustinFinberg, for example, uses the tool as a writing editor and finds getting multiple output options is highly efficient. What kind of prompts to give ChatGPT is a major subcategory of content, much of which is dedicated to university essay generation. Other users share tips on how to process AI outputs to bypass TurnitIn and other plagiarism software. Comment sections on such videos promote or dispute the success of these techniques, leading to arguments and further crowd-sourced suggestions. While some users mock the effort given over to cheating, others see the benefits of the tool. For one, the technology makes her English more professional, others use it as a helpful starting point before conducting their own research, while others worry about how ChatGPT will affect careers in the future..
PatrickBetDavid suggests that the technology is so good that the only way for teachers to know a student has written an essay is to have them write it in the classroom under observation. He also asks “how do you think universities are going to adapt to ChatGPT?”. His audience has mixed responses, from lauding the tools he mentions, to stating that education is outdated now that Google exists. Some users are enraged that their “secret” use of AI tech is now exposed.
For content creators, this is a rich space where engagement and demand for content is high. Content on this topic drives traffic and therefore is a lucrative space for those eeking a living from the platform. As such, the site is somewhat flooded with content, and it requires some digging to find “higher quality” videos.
ChatGPT is so popular that the site is often down. TikTok users offer lists of alternative services and, as expected for social media platforms, this often includes paid-for services promoted by content creators. Many creators talk about ChatGPT competitors and paid-for improved versions. In the future, this tech space is likely to grow into niche user-driven services with more refined outputs.
Some users like to troll ChatGPT for fun. One user tricked the tool into accepting that “9 + 10 = 21”. Manipulating the tool for fun is entertaining, but it also indirectly exposes how limited it is.
The TikTok space also covers content to redress the use of ChatGPT at university, such as news coverage of Canadian student Edward Tian at Princeton University who created the GPTZero app for educators. Over one million teachers around the world now use the software to detect plagiarism, and the creator is determined to keep it as a free service. The student plans to use this experience as part of his final year project write-up in Computer Science.
There are ways that ChatGPT can be used in the classroom in many different subjects. There is scope to acknowledge and embed the tool into our practice. But there are also dangers in its application. In one video I found, a content creator suggested using it as a patient symptom checker. Such medical application based solely on AI algorithms with no oversight seems an unwise application of the technology. Less dangerous applications include the design of knitting patterns!
There is a lot of content to sort through in this space, but if you look hard enough, you can find the answer to anything here. Just like ChatGPT, however, some of the answers provided are wrong…