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ChatGPT’s Use in School Email After Shooting Angers Coeds

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Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College is facing growing anger after administrators used ChatGPT to write a message about the importance of community following a deadly campus shooting in Michigan.


The Nashville, Tennessee-based school’s Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion said in a Feb. 16 email that “creating a safe and inclusive environment is an ongoing process that requires ongoing effort and commitment.” A line at the bottom of the five-paragraph email said it had been paraphrased using ChatGPT, an AI text generator.


The email was sent in response to a shooting earlier this week, when a gunman killed three people and injured five others at Michigan State University’s campus in East Lansing on Monday night. The suspect was later found dead after apparently taking his own life. There have been 73 mass shootings in the US this year, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive.


OpenAI, the artificial-intelligence research company behind the popular ChatGPT chatbot, has recently come under fire for biases, inaccuracies and inappropriate behavior. The controversial tool has sparked a fierce debate over the ethics and implications of its use in a wide variety of situations.


Freshman Martha Chessen took particular umbrage at the use of ChatGPT to write an email about gun violence.


“It’s almost as if Vanderbilt sent the email merely out of obligation, rather than a genuine care for the needs of its community,” she said. “I’m disappointed in Vanderbilt’s lack of empathy toward those suffering from the tragedy.”


Laith Kayat, a Vanderbilt senior from Michigan, was quoted by Vanderbilt University’s student newspaper, The Vanderbilt Hustler: “There is a sick and twisted irony to making a computer write your message about community and togetherness because you can’t be bothered to reflect on it yourself.”


Nicole Joseph, associate dean for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, apologized for showing poor judgment in using the AI technology.


“Using ChatGPT to generate communications on behalf of our community in a time of sorrow and in response to a tragedy contradicts the values that characterize Peabody College,” Joseph said in an email. “Open-source AI platforms are novel technologies, and we are all still learning about the power of their capabilities as well as their limits.”



Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College is facing growing anger after administrators used ChatGPT to write a message about the importance of community following a deadly campus shooting in Michigan.


The Nashville, Tennessee-based school’s Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion said in a Feb. 16 email that “creating a safe and inclusive environment is an ongoing process that requires ongoing effort and commitment.” A line at the bottom of the five-paragraph email said it had been paraphrased using ChatGPT, an AI text generator.


The email was sent in response to a shooting earlier this week, when a gunman killed three people and injured five others at Michigan State University’s campus in East Lansing on Monday night. The suspect was later found dead after apparently taking his own life. There have been 73 mass shootings in the US this year, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive.


OpenAI, the artificial-intelligence research company behind the popular ChatGPT chatbot, has recently come under fire for biases, inaccuracies and inappropriate behavior. The controversial tool has sparked a fierce debate over the ethics and implications of its use in a wide variety of situations.


Freshman Martha Chessen took particular umbrage at the use of ChatGPT to write an email about gun violence.


“It’s almost as if Vanderbilt sent the email merely out of obligation, rather than a genuine care for the needs of its community,” she said. “I’m disappointed in Vanderbilt’s lack of empathy toward those suffering from the tragedy.”


Laith Kayat, a Vanderbilt senior from Michigan, was quoted by Vanderbilt University’s student newspaper, The Vanderbilt Hustler: “There is a sick and twisted irony to making a computer write your message about community and togetherness because you can’t be bothered to reflect on it yourself.”


Nicole Joseph, associate dean for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, apologized for showing poor judgment in using the AI technology.


“Using ChatGPT to generate communications on behalf of our community in a time of sorrow and in response to a tragedy contradicts the values that characterize Peabody College,” Joseph said in an email. “Open-source AI platforms are novel technologies, and we are all still learning about the power of their capabilities as well as their limits.”


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