The future is here – you can now turn to artificial intelligence for assignment help. Or can you? How good are AI chatbots at doing your assignments for you? And can you rely on them?
Let’s answer these questions by testing ChatGPT – the conversational AI that’s already used by students in English-speaking countries, as Business Insider reported in January 2023.
Is it really so good that you can use it to do your homework – and no one will be able to tell? And is it better than its indirect rival, Jasper?
What Is Jasper?
Jasper is a paid AI copywriter based on the GPT-3 language model (ChatGPT uses its successor, GPT-3.5). It can generate social media posts, creative ad copy, and whole blog posts, among other types of content. Jasper’s pricing starts at $49 per month and depends on the number of words generated monthly.
As you can see, Jasper is designed for business use, not to replace an ai writing service. So, unsurprisingly, its assignment writing capabilities are quite limited, especially when it comes to STEM homework.
What Is ChatGPT?
Based on the GPT-3.5 model, ChatGPT is OpenAI’s question-answering chatbot. It’s still being improved. That’s probably the main reason it’s available to anyone for free (provided the servers aren’t at capacity, of course).
This chatbot can do many things: it can solve programming tasks and math equations, write jokes and fictional stories, and serve as an alternative to googling.
ChatGPT: Pros & Cons
There are undeniable pros to using this chatbot:
It’s free to use (unlike Jasper);
It can generate a variety of texts, from blog posts and essays to stories and jokes;
It can generate and debug code and solve math equations.
However, this conversational AI isn’t without its cons:
It’s not connected to the Internet, so you can’t use it to get sources for your assignment;
It can hallucinate certain facts, so you do need to double-check the chatbot’s output;
It was trained on texts written before 2022, so you’re unlikely to get accurate information on events after 2021.
ChatGPT & Essay Generation
Let’s start with the most popular use case for ChatGPT among students: essay writing. To see if it can beat the best assignment writing services, we asked ChatGPT to write a 500-word essay on literary modernism in Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis.
It took the chatbot around a minute to complete the request, and the result was satisfying – but not excellent.
The generated essay is well-written, uses an extensive vocabulary, and remains coherent. (And yes, it can rival the quality of work of some human assignment writers.) It also follows the conventional essay structure.
However, as illustrated by that Business Insider story we mentioned above, your professor will immediately get suspicious if you typically don’t write essays this well. Plus, the chatbot repeats itself by describing the main plot in several paragraphs in the body.
Another reason why this chatbot doesn’t excel in essay writing (yet) is sourcing. Since the chatbot isn’t connected to the Internet, it doesn’t cite any works in the generated essay, nor does it provide references at its end. When explicitly prompted to add references, ChatGPT tends to hallucinate them, randomly combining real author names and real titles.
ChatGPT & Math Assignments
What if you have math homework you don’t want to do yourself? Should you buy assignment with annotated bibliography writing service – or simply ask ChatGPT to do it for you? Let’s test it out by asking the chatbot to solve a differential equation.
Here’s the prompt we gave it: “Can you verify that the given function is a solution to the given differential equation? y=x^3/3 solves y’=x^2” And… we didn’t receive an answer: the chatbot returned “Error in body stream.” (This error showed up multiple times during technical requests.)
So, we paraphrased our request to “Can you verify that the y=x^3/3 function is a solution to the y’=x^2 differential equation?” This time, the AI returned an answer – and it was a correct one.
How about finding general solutions to differential equations? We tested ChatGPT’s prowess by asking it to find one for y’=lnx + tanx. This time, it returned the answer y = (x*lnx – x + C1) + ∫e^(x*lnx – x + C1)tan(x)dx + C2. Our math experts, however, found the answer to be y = C − x + x*lnx − ln(cosx).
ChatGPT & Programming Assignments
Now, what about programming assignments? Is this chatbot a reliable alternative to human assignment writers in this case? We checked it out.
It took the chatbot a bit longer to generate a response compared to other assignments. When it was finished, we ran the code through an online code editor. And it worked like a charm!
ChatGPT vs. Jasper: The Verdict
So, how does ChatGPT fare against Jasper? When it comes to assignment writing, in particular, this AI is still a better alternative for most students.
For one, it’s free to use. This chatbot is also quite proficient in solving math and programming tasks. Its essays are well-written – too well-written for most students, perhaps.
That’s not to say ChatGPT is a perfect way to get all of your homework done. It can’t provide you with a list of references, for example. And it still makes mistakes – or just doesn’t produce the same answer as a human would. So, be careful!
While artificial intelligence can be a great helper for you when you do your homework, it still has its limitations. AI struggles with sourcing and citations, and its creativity isn’t boundless yet, either. So, if you need some help with an assignment, it’s still better to turn to a human assignment writer for it.
Plus, universities and colleges have already started banning AI-generated content in student works. It is possible to “reverse-engineer” a text and determine how likely it is to be created by an AI. So, watch out for your school’s rules before you try submitting an essay from ChatGPT!