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ChatGPT for teachers: OpenAI to target education sector market, develop AI-powered tutoring tools

OpenAI is taking significant steps to integrate its ChatGPT technology into educational settings. This move comes after initial concerns that the AI tool could be misused for cheating in academic work. OpenAI's chief operating officer Brad Lightcap revealed at the INSEAD Americas Conference in San Francisco that the company was forming a dedicated team to explore educational applications for ChatGPT.

Initially, the release of ChatGPT sparked a generative AI frenzy. Its ability to create new, human-like content, from essays to novel drafts, initially alarmed educators worldwide. Many feared its potential for facilitating cheating and plagiarism in schools, leading to a swift backlash and restrictions in educational institutions.

“Teachers thought it was the worst thing that had ever happened," Reuters quoted Lightcap as saying. “(Now) most teachers are trying to figure out ways to incorporate (ChatGPT) into the curriculum and into the way they teach"

“We at OpenAI are trying to help them think through the problem and we probably next year will establish a team with the sole intent of doing that," he added.

Teachers, initially wary, are now recognising the potential benefits of ChatGPT in education, according to Lightcap. The technology's capacity to assist with various aspects of learning, from generating creative content to providing personalised tutoring, is gaining attention, he said.

The proposed OpenAI team will extend the company's existing efforts to adapt ChatGPT for classroom use. OpenAI has already embarked on collaborations with educational organisations like Khan Academy to develop AI-powered tutoring tools and with Schmidt Futures to support educational initiatives in underserved communities.

The potential for AI in education is vast, with global education and training expenditures expected to reach $10 trillion by 2030. ChatGPT could serve as a versatile tool in classrooms, offering services ranging from tailored learning content to assisting teachers in curriculum development, as per the company.

Andrew Mayne, a former OpenAI employee and current AI consultant, emphasises the various applications of ChatGPT in education. It can act as a non-judgemental tutor for students, catering to different learning styles and aiding teachers in creating engaging and diverse educational materials.