AI-Powered ChatGPT Writes English Essay and Passes

The Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern recently used OpenAI’s new artificially intelligent chatbot ChatGPT to write an English essay for a 12th-grade AP Lit and she passed.

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For those who aren’t familiar, ChatGPT is based on a conversational AI model that can comprehend natural language queries, process them, and provide outputs based on the expansive dataset it has been trained on.

According to OpenAI, ChatGPT is not only able to respond to queries but also “answer followup questions, admit its mistakes, challenge incorrect premises, and reject inappropriate requests.”

You can tell the bot to write you anything, such as an email apologizing to your boss, or an article about the world’s richest hamster, and it spits out text you’d think was written by a human.

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Stern told the chatbot to write an 800-word essay on “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” as assigned by Michael Diamond, an AP Literature teacher at High Tech High School in Secaucus, N.J.

I pasted the 800-word essay into a document, asked ChatGPT how to format a high-school AP paper (double spacing, 12-point Times New Roman font, indented paragraphs), put my name on top and emailed it to Mr. Diamond. I added a note:

“I am writing to apologize for the lateness of my essay. I know that you have specific expectations for deadlines and I am sorry that I did not meet them.”

When Stern asked Mr. Diamond if he would have suspected this was written by AI, he said he didn’t think so.

An OpenAI spokeswoman said the ChatGPT maker is also exploring and researching ways to make it easier to spot AI writing. You can read the lengthy article in its entirety on the source page.