A senior executive at OpenAI has said that the company is looking at ways to get its popular generative AI (GenAI) chatbot ChatGPT into the mainstream education sector.
Talking at the INSEAD Americas Conference in San Francisco last week, OpenAI COO Brad Lightcap said the company is forming a team to explore opportunities in the education sector.
“Most teachers are trying to figure out ways to incorporate [ChatGPT] into the curriculum and into the way they teach,” Lightcap said.
“We at OpenAI are trying to help them think through the problem and we probably next year will establish a team with the sole intent of doing that,” he added.
Lightcap explained how teachers were caught off guard when ChatGPT launched in November 2022.
The senior executive said teachers initially thought “it was the worse thing that had ever happened” but quickly came around to seeing its benefits.
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The proposed move into edcuation comes as the one-year-old chatbot continues to take the world by storm. ChatGPT now has over 100 million weekly users, and is being used by over 92% of Fortune 500 companies, according to OpenAI CEO Sam Altman.
In a statement issued to Reuters, an OpenAI spokesperson said that the company “sees AI as an impactful tool that can assist with learning and education, and we’re encouraged by the ways educators have been ideating on how tools like ChatGPT can be useful.”
In March, the UK’s Department for Education put out a position statement on GenAI and large language models, to address the growing interest in ChatGPT.
The statement said that when used appropriately, technology like GenAI has the potential to reduce workload across the education sector and free up teachers’ time, allowing them to focus on delivering excellent teaching.
“The optimum way forward probably lies somewhere between those who urge caution on using ChatGPT and those who advocate adopting it in a limited way,” David Bicknell, analyst at research company GlobalData, wrote in a blog post on April 17.