I, being a senior, have just finished my college applications. Throughout the process, I visited several essay help websites, and each one stressed this fact: essay readers want to hear a student’s voice. ChatGPT can write well-structured essays in two minutes, but these essays have no voice. They are formulaic and insipid — they won’t help a student get into UCLA. To have a chance, her essays must be eloquent and compelling. So, at least until AI writing technology improves, a student must put in the work, writing and rewriting until she has produced an essay that tells readers who she is.
Others discussed the joy and satisfaction that comes with being able to express oneself.
While AI has its advantages, it can’t replicate the satisfaction and authenticity which comes from writing by yourself. AI uses the existing ideas of others in order to generate a response. However, the response isn’t unique and doesn’t truly represent the idea the way you would. When you write, it causes you to think deeply about a topic and come up with an original idea. You uncover ideas which you wouldn’t have thought of previously and understand a topic for more than its face value. It creates a sense of clarity, in which you can generate your own viewpoint after looking at the different perspectives. Another example is that the feeling of writing something by yourself generates feelings of pleasure and satisfaction. The process of doing research about a topic for hours, to then come up with your own opinion. Or the feeling of having to use a dictionary to understand a word which you don’t know the meaning of. The satisfaction and authenticity or writing by yourself is irreplaceable. Therefore, it is still important to learn to be a good writer.
You cannot depend on technology to do everything for you. An important factor of writing is expressing yourself and showing creativity. While AI can create a grammatically correct essay, it cannot express how you feel on the subject. Creativity attracts an audience, not being grammatically correct. Learning to write well-written essays without the assistance of AI is a skill that everyone should have.
A few commenters raised ethical concerns around using generators like ChatGPT.
I feel that even with AI, learning how to be a good writer still matters. For example, if you’re writing a college essay or an essay for a class using an AI generated thing, that is plagiarism, which can get you in a lot of trouble because it is against the law to take something that is not yours and try to make it seem like it is your writing. So I believe that learning how to be a good writer still matters a lot because if you want to get into a good college or get good grades, you need to know how to write at least semi-well and make sure the writing is in your own words, not words already generated for you.
There are obvious benefits, and I myself have used this software to better understand Calculus problems in a step by step format, or to answer my questions regarding a piece of literature, or time in history. That being said, ethics should be considered, and credit should be given where credit is due; as sources are cited in a traditional paper, so should the use of ChatGPT.