ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence system, passed a graduate-level business examination at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, according to a new research paper.
Christian Terwiesch, a professor at Wharton, considered one of the most prestigious business schools in the United States, said he wanted to test growing concerns about the chatbot’s potential. It comes amid a surge of concerns from academics that students would use the tool to cheat on their exams and homework.
In his paper titled “Would Chat GPT3 Get a Wharton MBA?” Terwiesch concluded that “Chat GPT3 would have received a B to B- grade on the exam,” which “has important implications for business school education.” He suggested the school overhaul its exam rules, teaching, and curriculum.
Elaborating, he wrote the AI system displayed “a remarkable ability to automate some of the skills of highly compensated knowledge workers in general and specifically the knowledge workers in the jobs held by MBA graduates including analysts, managers, and consultants.” The bot was designed to give a human-like conversation via artificial intelligence.
The chatbot, designed for mass market usage, also “demonstrated the capability of performing professional tasks such as writing software code and preparing legal documents,” his paper said (pdf). During one instance, ChatGPT did “an amazing job” and provided answers that were correct or “excellent.”
“ChatGPT3 is remarkably good at modifying its answers in response to human hints. In other words, in the instances where it initially failed to match the problem with the right solution method, Chat GPT3 was able to correct itself after receiving an appropriate hint from a human expert,” his paper said.
Launched in November of last year, OpenAI says ChatGPT describes itself as a “large language model” that can be used for “natural language processing tasks such as text generation and language translation.” The “GPT” in the name is short for “Generative Pretrained Transformer.”
“One of the key features of ChatGPT is its ability to generate human-like text responses to prompts,” maker OpenAI says. “This makes it useful for a wide range of applications, such as creating chatbots for customer service, generating responses to questions in online forums, or even creating personalized content for social media posts.”
Terwiesch compared ChatGPT’s potential with the effect that electronic calculators had on the corporate world.
“Prior to the introduction of calculators and other computing devices, many firms employed hundreds of employees whose task it was to manually perform mathematical operations such as multiplications or matrix inversions,” he wrote. “Obviously, such tasks are now automated, and the value of the associated skills has dramatically decreased. In the same way any automation of the skills taught in our MBA programs could potentially reduce the value of an MBA education.”
But Terwiesch clarified that ChatGPT made some glaring errors. For example, the AI system made “surprising mistakes in relatively simple calculations” on sixth-grade-level math problems that were “massive in magnitude.”
The latest version currently is not “capable of handling more advanced process analysis questions, even when they are based on fairly standard templates,” he said. ChatGPT was able to correct itself after it received a hint, the researcher added, but because of the significantly wrong answers, “we still need a human in the loop.”
It comes as Microsoft confirmed Monday that it will invest billions in OpenAI. The exact amount was not disclosed by the firm.
“We formed our partnership with OpenAI around a shared ambition to responsibly advance cutting-edge AI research and democratize AI as a new technology platform,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a news release. “In this next phase of our partnership, developers and organizations across industries will have access to the best AI infrastructure, models, and toolchain with Azure to build and run their applications.”
Around 27 percent of professionals at prominent consulting, technology, and financial services firms have used ChatGPT in various ways, according to a Fishbowl survey. It can give simple responses to questions, which some have said may imperil Google Search, the world’s most-used search engine.