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Navigating Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the age of ChatGPT
The meteoric rise of OpenAI's ChatGPT, boasting over 180 million users total and 100 million active users weekly, signifies a critical juncture in technological evolution. Its integration into daily life, profoundly influencing education and job preparation, marks a significant shift in our interaction with artificial intelligence. Yet, this remarkable progress surfaces urgent Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (ED&I) concerns, especially considering the advancements of GPT-4.
ChatGPT's expansive user base is redefining digital interaction and learning. A Study.com survey showed that 89% of students above 18 use GPT for homework, while Resume Builder unearthed that nearly half of job seekers utilise it for CV and covering letter preparation, highlighting AI's escalating role in our society.
However, GPT-4's breakthrough, with its trillion-plus parameters, brings forth notable challenges. The most advanced ChatGPT features, including sophisticated internet access, plugins and even access to ChatGPT 4 itself, are confined behind a $240/year paywall, creating a pronounced divide as the free users are left with the much weaker GPT 3.5. This paywall notably affects lower-income individuals and those in developing countries, with only 1% of GPT users on the 'Plus' plan, underscoring the exclusivity of these features.
This digital divide is not a new concept, but ChatGPT's swift adoption intensifies it, risking a societal split where access to cutting-edge AI is a luxury rather than a universal tool. This disparity could result in unequal educational and job market opportunities, exacerbating existing inequalities.
As Bill Gates aptly put it, “The world needs to make sure that everyone—and not just people who are well-off—benefits from artificial intelligence. Governments and philanthropy will need to play a major role in ensuring that it reduces inequity and doesn’t contribute to it." It is crucial to advocate for inclusive pricing models, develop programmes for underprivileged groups, and urge policy interventions to bridge the digital divide.
Additionally, ethical considerations in AI's use in education and job preparation cannot be overlooked. AI's potential as a tool for learning and professional development is immense, but its application must be balanced with academic integrity and authentic skill representation.
In conclusion, the remarkable growth of ChatGPT reflects our deepening relationship with AI. However, as we navigate this new digital landscape, it is imperative to ensure that advancements in AI technology are aligned with the principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion.