A lot has been said recently on ChatGPT being used for homework, from passing an MBA exam, to failing at French philosophy.
While suggestions have been made that ChatGPT could do anything from writing your essays to replacing traditional search engines, it is always best to take such sweeping statements with a grain of salt. Answers from ChatGPT are limited to the data it has been trained on, which means it currently has limited ability to deal with data generated post-2021. As with many AI applications, explainability can pose an issue for the model, and the bot struggles to provide sources for its answers. Occasionally, the answers it generates are completely wrong, and the chatbot will convincingly lie to you.
I decided to try some patent trainee homework using perplexity.ai, a ChatGPT based search engine, and asked the question: What is the compliance period for a divisional patent in the UK? The website confidently responded that “From Monday 1st May 2023, the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) will attribute to a divisional application filed on that date or after, a compliance period of 12 months from its filing date.” This answer, while clearly worded, is also incorrect. Whilst ChatGPT has correctly noted that there will be a change in the UK compliance period on 1st May 2023, the change will in fact mean that divisional applications will be accorded a compliance period equal to the original and un-extended compliance period of the parent application. While it is essential to refer to legal sources, it is notable that checking my regular search engine quickly highlighted this error.
So, although ChatGPT is an incredible tool that can assist you in answering questions and generating text, at the moment it needs a human with good understanding of the subject to review any generated content. Therefore, if you want to play with using ChatGPT to do your homework, it is advisable to refer back to your trusted search engine and double check your (its) working out.