ChatGPT, a mass-market artificial intelligence chatbot launched by OpenAI last year, passed a graduate-level business exam at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.
The language processing tool has gained virality over the past several weeks as knowledge workers leverage the user-friendly artificial intelligence system to complete various tasks, such as writing emails and debugging code in a matter of moments. A research paper from Wharton operations management professor Christian Terwiesch said that ChatGPT earned a grade between B and B- on a final exam usually presented to MBA students.
ChatGPT shows “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,” according to the paper. “It does an amazing job at basic operations management and process analysis questions including those that are based on case studies. Not only are the answers correct, but the explanations are excellent.”
Some 27% of professionals at prominent consulting, technology, and financial services companies have already used ChatGPT in various capacities, according to a survey from Fishbowl. ChatGPT can formulate simple responses to users’ search queries; as a result, some have speculated that artificial intelligence chatbots could pose a significant threat to Google Search. OpenAI announced on Monday that Microsoft would invest billions more dollars into the solution in the wake of investments offered for the platform in 2019 and 2021.
Terwiesch clarified that the performance from ChatGPT still had some significant deficiencies. The system made “surprising mistakes in relatively simple calculations” at the level of sixth-grade math that were often “massive in magnitude,” while the current version of the system “is not capable of handling more advanced process analysis questions, even when they are based on fairly standard templates.”
ChatGPT was nevertheless able to correct itself after receiving a hint from a human expert. “This has important implications for business school education, including the need for exam policies, curriculum design focusing on collaboration between human and AI, opportunities to simulate real world decision making processes, the need to teach creative problem solving, improved teaching productivity, and more,” the paper added.
Terwiesch described answers provided by ChatGPT as “short and sweet” and “superbly explained,” adding that the “simple user experience and the great answer put me in a state of awe, and I am sure it has impressed many users before me.” The drastically wrong answers led him to conclude that “we still need a human in the loop.”
Although conversations surrounding technological unemployment over the past several decades have often revolved around blue-collar workers losing their positions to automated robotics solutions, the widespread use of ChatGPT has introduced similar questions in white-collar professions. New York Times columnist and economics professor Paul Krugman recently wrote that artificial intelligence “may be able to perform certain knowledge-based tasks more efficiently than humans, potentially reducing the need for some knowledge workers.”
On the other hand, Krugman and other commentators have acknowledged that ChatGPT and similar solutions can expedite menial tasks faced by knowledge workers, increasing their overall productive capacity. Various lists circulating the internet in recent weeks describe how users leverage ChatGPT to summarize lengthy documents, build study guides, and translate articles.