‘ChatGPT helps me study’

We asked students if and how they use ChatGPT.
Logo van ChatGPT Illustration Shutterstock

Text Mario Martens and Luuk Zegers

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is going to change education drastically, there is no doubt about that. But are students already working with AI tools like ChatGPT? And if so, what do they use them for?

‘You don’t need ChatGPT to write’

Julia van Holst (21), an MSc student of Biology
‘I don’t use ChatGPT when I’m studying but I did use it for programming during my thesis research. I don’t use it for anything else, like writing. There’s always a risk that ChatGPT then stores your research and results somewhere in the cloud, and I don’t like that idea. Besides, everyone can write, you don’t need ChatGPT for that.’

‘Could AI take over our profession – landscape architecture?’

Lieke Muijsert (19), BSc student of Landscape Architecture and Spatial Planning
‘I have occasionally used ChatGPT during a brainstorming session to find a theme for our study association’s gala. In the end we went for an idea we had thought up ourselves, but it can still be useful as a source of inspiration. Beyond that, I don’t have much experience and I haven’t used it yet in my studies.’

‘There’s a lot of discussion about AI on my degree programme. For example, on a course about drawing techniques. On that course, we learn to use programmes like Photoshop and Illustrator, but if AI can generate images, perhaps you won’t need any Photoshop skills at all anymore. Then the discussion went a step further, and we talked about whether AI could take over our profession – landscape architecture – entirely in future, or whether you will always need some human input. Personally, I’m not very worried about it: you still need a creative mind and knowledge about landscapes. You can then use AI as an aid to that creativity. But I don’t know for certain of course.’

‘I don’t use ChatGPT because I don’t fully understand it’

Alessandro Cigliano (23), an MSc student of Environmental Sciences
‘I don’t use ChatGPT because I don’t fully understand it yet. Maybe I’ll take a look at how it works one day, but I am also wary of incorrect information that can sometimes appear in AI-generated texts. If I do decide to use it, I want ChatGPT to tell me which sources were used to arrive at the answers.’

‘I use AI to help me summarize long texts’

Machteld van Kempen (22), MSc student of Development Studies
‘I mainly use AI to help with rephrasing sentences and summarizing long texts. If I rewrite my sentences using AI, they flow better and more logically. So I don’t get AI to take over all the writing for me.

‘An AI tool like ChatGPT can be useful outside my studies too. I sometimes use it to get inspiration for a description in an Instagram post. I usually change the text quite a bit, because it often isn’t quite what I’m looking for. But it helps you get started.’

‘I use AI to give other tools instructions’

Marco Libanore (24), an MSc student of Biotechnology
‘If you use AI as a tool, it can be a great assistant and enhance your learning experience. One thing I use ChatGPT for is data gathering, for example to find relevant papers about a certain protein for my thesis. Also, I use other AI tools for image creation. When you need an image of a cell, specific proteins or DNA, and you want to highlight certain things in this image, it can be difficult to find good images on the internet. With a little help from AI, you can create these yourself.’

‘To create a good image, you have to give the AI tool clear prompts. I have found a good workflow to do this effectively: I start out with an idea in my head and put that into words. Then I ask ChatGPT to create clear prompts for that idea to feed to an AI image generator. Because ChatGPT understands other AI tools better than I do, it helps me get my message across to the image generator. This way, you can create images that almost perfectly meet your needs.’

‘I used it once to do my homework’

‘I mainly use ChatGPT to get inspiration, but I also used it once to do a homework assignment. I gave ChatGPT a number of specific sources and asked it to write a paper based on them. You do then have to nudge it in the right direction, otherwise it won’t be of much use as the answers remain rather superficial. So I included the instruction that I wanted the conclusion to go in a specific direction. And it produced quite a usable answer. Then I did edit the text a little so that it became a bit more my own writing.’
Anonymous, name known to the editors

‘I sometimes ask ChatGPT to summarize long texts’

Querine van Rijn (21), BSc student of Plant Sciences
‘If I have written sentences that don’t flow nicely, I use ChatGPT to rewrite the sentences in a logical order. And I sometimes ask ChatGPT to summarize articles or explain concepts that I don’t understand. Then you might say, “Explain X in simple terms” or “Improve the structure of the following sentences”. It’s handy for finding inspiration for things like reports, too.’

Also read:

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to write a comment.