Is ChatGPT the new Google, just a flash in the pan, or something much more innovative? I came across it two days running last week, and so thought to try it out. It's free at the moment although you have to register.
The idea is that you ask it questions and it replies. So I asked it this: "Please explain what NAEE does?"
The response was: "I'm sorry, I'm not familiar with an organization or group specifically referred to as "NAEE." Could you provide more context or clarify what you mean by "NAEE”?"
Not very promising! So, I asked:
"What does the National Association for Environmental Education do?"
And this came back within 10 seconds:
"The National Association for Environmental Education (NAEE) is a UK-based organization that promotes and supports environmental education. Their main goal is to increase the understanding and awareness of environmental issues among the general public and to encourage individuals and organizations to take action to protect the environment.
The organization works to achieve this goal by providing resources and support to educators, developing and promoting environmental education programs, and conducting research on the effectiveness of environmental education. They also advocate for policies and programs that support environmental education at the local, national and international levels.
Some of the activities of NAEE include:
-Publishing a quarterly magazine -Organizing conferences, training and networking events
-Developing and disseminating resources for environmental education
-Encouraging and supporting research in environmental education
-Providing professional development opportunities for environmental educators
-Working to influence policy and practice at national and international levels
In summary, NAEE is an organization that works to promote and support environmental education in the UK, by providing resources and support to educators, developing and promoting environmental education programs and conducting research on the effectiveness of environmental education."
Much better; pretty good in fact. When I then asked the first question again, the long response came back showing that the bot had learned something about acronyms. It is supposed to be able to do things much more demanding than regurgitate stuff from the internet, so I then asked it:
"What are the main themes of Bill Scott's Blog?"
"I'm sorry, I am not aware of a specific blog authored by a person named Bill Scott. Could you provide more information or context about the blog you are referring to? Without more information, I am unable to give a specific answer."
Pretty useless then!
It comes with provisos:
"may occasionally generate incorrect information" / "may occasionally produce harmful or biased content" / "limited knowledge of world and events after 2021"
Thankfully, all this falls somewhat short of self-awareness and agency. For now …
Here's a link to a The Conversation article by Brian Lucey.