• The Chat Generative Pre-Trained Transformer also known as ChatGPT, is a free research preview that was launched by OpenAI in November 2022.
• This conversational bot is an AI powered language model that understands human language and responds.
Kenya is referred to as the "Silicon Savannah" due to its rapidly growing technology sector and its position as a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship in East Africa.
The country has a large and highly educated workforce and a growing middle class with disposable income, which has helped to fuel the growth of the technology sector.
Additionally, the government has made significant investments in technology infrastructure, such as the deployment of fibre-optic cables, which has helped to improve internet connectivity and reduce the cost of internet access.
The success of mobile payment systems such as M-Pesa has also been a key factor in the development of the technology sector in Kenya.
Overall, Kenya's technology sector is seen as a major driver of economic growth and development in the country and the region.
In case you are wondering, all that you have just read is what ChatGPT generated after I asked it, “In 100 words why is Kenya referred to as the Silicon Savannah?”
I also randomly asked it about the latest news on Andrew Tate and the AI mentioned that its knowledge cut-off is 2021.
“I am not aware of any recent news on Andrew Tate as I am not connected to any live feeds. However, you can check his social media accounts or search for recent news articles to find the latest updates on him,” it responded.
Not to worry, a human is the one writing now.
The Chat Generative Pre-Trained Transformer also known as ChatGPT, is a free research preview that was launched by OpenAI in November 2022.
This conversational bot is an AI-powered language model that understands human language and responds.
The bot can write code, can be used for conversational AI apps like chatbots or virtual assistants and can also perform text generation tasks that involve the use of natural language.
These tasks include typing out essays, presentations, text summarization, question answering as well as paraphrasing.
While using ChatGPT, I noticed that the bot responds to Swahili prompts but with way too many grammatical errors.
This new AI has been received differently across all industries with some feeling rather uneasy and others feeling wowed by it.
Of recent concern is the education sector.
Different experts have expressed their views on the possible impact that Chat GPT may have on education.
Different news blog posts in the US have a range of concerns on how ChatGPT is perceived that are hard to go by.
“Will ChatGPT end high school English?” to “Should ChatGPT be banned in schools?” to “Don’t ban it, teach with it” to even “Is ChatGPTa threat to higher education?”
The questions and the reviews are numerous.
Speaking to a few experts from different fields, in the education sector and other industries, this new API is likely going to be beneficial or hazardous in the long run.
A ChatGPT user who sought anonymity said that he frequently uses the platform for feedback.
“I use ChatGPT to refine some of my writings and for feedback in terms of what I am working on as a founder. This is a really powerful AI tool. I prompt it for feedback and the responses are satisfactory,” he said.
He however said that, globally, educators can use this AI to advance and scale up learning experiences.
“We need to reimagine education and with the frequently changing tech trends things like AI can help students learn. If we keep giving students exams as part of knowledge acquisition testing, we are constantly building in them a habit of cheating,” he said.
“They are learning intending to pass exams and with platforms like Chat GPT, they will maximize it fully to quickly get done with assignments or take away tests. They want to do it and be done with it as fast as possible.”
He also said that such technology can be embedded while teaching to enhance the learning experience.
OpenAI is, however, reportedly working on a solution to detect whether a text was generated by its ChatGPT model.
AI/ML expert and software developer Daniel Moenga said that to university students, Chat GPT can positively as well as negatively affect their studies.
He said that the language model can boost creativity as different prompts give the needful informational add-on new knowledge to the user.
This information delivered is quick and more detailed.
“When I research a specific topic, I often get a lot of stack overflow of information online but with ChatGPT the information is instant, brief and most of the time, I get new information that I did not know about. I learn something new,” Moenga said.
For graduates, Moenga said that ChatGPT can be used to enhance workflow.
“As an engineer and software developer, ChatGPT has helped me develop codes for different APIs although the codes are not optimized they work. Apart from ChatGPT, other APIs successfully assist engineers to build on their work,” he said.
For younger learners, ChatGPT poses a few threats
He added that for younger students, since ChatGPT exhibits inaccurate and malicious content to some extent, children will not be unable to discern what is right from wrong.
“There is a certain way to key in information in an AI so that it can give you the results you are looking for. This is referred to as prompt engineering. Exactly how search engines think and perform. If young learners play around with words and just ask questions, the AI gives them information that is most of the time out of context.”
Aside from education, ChatGPT is also a threat to the professional industry.
Moenga said that for developers and scrum masters, this is a challenge considering people will opt for such a solution to help with whatever problem they have as compared to paying an expert to do the work.
“If people become overly dependant and we know that sometimes these solutions experience a downtime, this can lead to frustration and even anxiety if there is a delay,” he added.
Academic writer Bryian Mwiti said that with the emergence of ChatGPT, people in the academic freelance industry had a wow feeling to it.
He argued that ChatGPT can quickly throw them out of business.
The online writing space has been a booming business for several Kenyans for quite some time.
“As an academic writer, this AI can do our jobs perfectly. This means that we can either lose our jobs or reduce our wages. Time is what gets us paid and this is going to be a huge blow for us,” Mwiti said.
“Nevertheless, looking at it positively, it saves us a lot of time since you just have to key your query and all your data is processed instantly.”
Mwiti also said that even though ChatGPT saves time, and enhances efficiency and accuracy, it, however, makes people less innovative as the brain becomes dormant while the AI does all the work.
“The problem with ChatGPT is it tries to create a notion that there is a point of perfection which to me is absurd. When the human brain becomes contended, it lags in working," he added.
"There are no new ideas brought in into the apparent world. The difference between the affluent and the impoverished is the thinking gap."
To Mwiti, ChatGPT in the long run is either going to be a hazard or an ace depending on the working niche you are in.