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Navigating Writing with ChatGPT

By Dr. A. Serçin Kutucu

Utilising ChatGPT as a supporting technological tool for writing can increase productivity. Here, I will share my personal experience with the model; how it assisted my writing practice, and the issues writers must be aware of.

ChatGPT is a large language model developed by OpenAI. It generates human-like responses to questions and performs other language-related tasks based on training data, mainly from the Internet. Its ability to use language, process data and arrive at conclusions has made it one of the top technological developments in 2023 globally. Here are four ways to utilize ChatGPT in your writing process:

1- Overcoming the blank page syndrome: The most challenging part of the writing journey is probably just starting. You may have ideas floating around in your head but do not know where to start. ChatGPT can give you a list of ideas, facilitating to grab the first thought and get started writing.
2- Simplifying daily tasks: ChatGPT can help writers create writing plans, outlines, slides, respond to emails, and craft social media posts.
3- Grammar and punctuation check: While ChatGPT is not a completely trustworthy tool for editing, it can serve as a second pair of eyes for the writer. It can review grammar, correct punctuation errors, detect repetitions, suggest words and paraphrase, but the final editing decision should always be yours.
4- Assisting research: ChatGPT is not a reliable source for research on any topic. The model is more of a tool that provides initial ideas to begin research. It is important for writers to cross-check and validate information from ChatGPT with credible and authoritative sources.

ChatGPT’s responds are statistical predictions based on the patterns in its training data. This implies that the model’s responds could be incorrect, misleading, biased, or even fabricated and you must never use ChatGPT as a direct source of information but always view its output critically.

Another important issue is the quality of ChatGPT’s output. The relevance and accuracy of the model’s responses largely depend on the clarity and specificity of the user’s questions. You must type clear prompts to obtain accurate and relevant responses. However, strictly avoid providing any kind of data that is sensitive or confidential. Overall, ChatGPT is not a safe space for private information.

Lastly, ChatGPT has a lot of capabilities, but it is far from understanding in the way humans do. Furthermore, it lacks human qualities such as consciousness, real-life experience, sense of humour and empathy. As useful as it is, you must avoid relying heavily on it. Overuse of the model may constrain a writer’s imagination and potentially drain the creativity inherent in the human spirit.

Dr. A. Serçin Kutucu is a legal expert and consultant holding a doctorate degree in EU Law and a master’s degree in International Human Rights Law. She has substantial knowledge in the fields of human rights, free movement of persons, migration, and refugee issues. Having followed the advancements in AI, she is actively engaged in understanding its implications for ethics and human rights and seeks to contribute to ongoing discussions surrounding AI’s impact on the law and legal education. Visit her website and LinkedIn pages.