I came across this explainer article the other day regarding how to spot text that's been written by ChatGPT. It's got smart design that pinpoints the exact spots in GPT-generated texts that give away their authorship (screenshot below).
After reading the article from my own perspective as a high school teacher wanting to help students become capable thinkers, readers, and writers in a ChatGPT world, I have a few thoughts:
- First, in order to spot the “tells” in the AI generated texts, you have to know the content area. In one example, they ask the machine to create a recipe for a classic cocktail that doesn't exist, and the machine does so. But unless you already know quite a bit about classic cocktails, you really don't have a shot at detecting that the whole recipe is made up. You wouldn't even have the inclination to fact check the text; it wouldn't raise any flags.
- What this means practically in my classroom is that I need to keep giving my students a feast of knowledge in all of my courses (see Strategy 5: “A Feast of Knowledge/Teach Stuff, Lots” in my new book). In order to think critically about a text's accuracy on the Internet, my students have got to know at least a little bit about a lot of things. It's been true forever; it's just more important now that inaccurate texts can be so rapidly generated with the new technology.
- And so, my students can expect this coming school year what they've been able to expect from me prior: each day they'll experience a knowledge-rich curriculum (see Ch 3 of These 6 Things). They'll often argue (see Ch 4 of These 6 Things). They'll read, write, speak, and listen about the things they are learning so that they can make connections between facts and concepts and ideas and work surface-level knowledge down into its rich and delicious depths.
My classes have never been what I'd call innovative or ground-breaking. But they've apparently been on the right track to preparing students to live in a ChatGPT world.
If you're providing a knowledge-rich curriculum to your students with frequent opportunities to argue, read, write, speak, and listen about that knowledge, then guess what? You're on the right track, too.