The Evolution of Humanity: An Upgrade or a Potential Setback?

**Exploring the Potential of Neuralink and ChatGPT: Ethical Considerations and Student Perspectives**

**Upgrading the Human Brain to Compete with AI**

Elon Musk, the CEO of Neuralink, is investigating the development of a brain computer interface that could potentially enhance human intelligence and enable individuals to compete with sentient AI. Musk believes this upgrade is necessary to address the existential threat posed by AI. While Neuralink has received FDA approval to conduct clinical trials in humans, it remains to be seen if this technology will succeed in augmenting human intelligence as intended. As we delve into the ethical implications of AI-driven intelligence enhancement, the use of ChatGPT, a tool that has rapidly gained popularity, comes into focus.

**The Swift Adoption of ChatGPT**

According to experts Ethan Mollick and Allie Miller, who appeared on the ‘Worklife with Adam Grant’ podcast, ChatGPT is one of the fastest adopted technologies to date. While it took GPT3 24 months to reach 1 million users, GPT4 (ChatGPT) achieved the same milestone in just 5 days. For some students, embracing ChatGPT early on meant elevating their intelligence and gaining an advantage. It also increased the accessibility of knowledge and assignments, leveling the playing field, but also making competition more challenging.

**The Duality of Acting as God or Losing Our Voice**

While some students expressed excitement about the possibilities presented by ChatGPT, others voiced concerns about addiction. Late-night usage of the tool led one student to remark, “Sometimes I stay up way too late using [ChatGPT] and I feel like God. I can create anything – which is a little freaky.” As students reflected on the potential creativity resulting from ChatGPT, they also worried about losing human creativity and individual voices in the process.

**The Fear of Losing Critical Thinking**

A recurring concern among the interviewed students revolved around the impact of ChatGPT on critical thinking skills. They acknowledged that while ChatGPT could enhance perceived intelligence, it might hinder the use of our own brains. Further, students questioned whether this overreliance on AI would erode critical thinking abilities and impede learning. Considering that some students deemed ChatGPT as “a bit young” and “not trustworthy,” skepticism arose regarding the accuracy and reliability of academic references provided by the tool.

**Upgrading Education for ChatGPT Utilization**

If ChatGPT continues to proliferate, it has the potential to prompt universities to reevaluate their traditional methods of assessment. While concerns are raised about students exploiting ChatGPT for assignments without critical thinking, Ethan Mollick highlights that cheating has always existed even before the tool’s introduction. Therefore, assessing students’ critical thinking and their ability to synthesize thoughts and concepts could become paramount. Educational institutions might prioritize pedagogical innovation in order to adapt to this changing landscape. Some educators are more preoccupied with detecting ChatGPT usage, despite its accuracy rate of 26%, instead of acknowledging that AI tools like ChatGPT are increasingly shaping both work and leisure activities.

**Reconciling with Change**

The views expressed by the students interviewed varied, ranging from perceiving AI tools as beneficial to fearing the erosion of critical thinking skills. Nonetheless, it is undeniable that tools like ChatGPT are significantly impacting our lives. Rather than discouraging their use, universities may consider incorporating teachings on how to best utilize AI to enhance human skills. This shift in approach could equip students with the necessary knowledge and skills to navigate the evolving landscape of AI-driven technologies.

*(Acknowledgements: Special thanks to the interviewed students in Amsterdam and London, along with my fellow doctoral researchers at Warwick Business School: Chun-Kit Tang, Dean Al-Sened, Derrick Chang, and Laura Sapa. The interpretations and insights presented in this study solely represent my own perspective and do not reflect the opinions of my colleagues, Warwick Business School, or the coordinating professors, Davide Nicolini and Nick Llewellyn.)*

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