ChatGPT is a chatbot that has been making plenty of waves since launching in preview last November. Some see it as a bold new frontier for AI, while others see it as an evasive and dangerous view of the future. I am somewhere in between but it seems the New York City (NYC) education department is not impressed and is blocking access to ChatGPT.

Specifically, the OpenAI chatbot will be blocked on all school devices and networks in New York City. That’s according to a new report from ChalkBet.

ChatGPT is a project from OpenAI and is built on the group’s GPT-3 autocomplete text generator. A demo of the chatbot was released in late November and is available from OpenAI here (log in required). One of the abilities of ChatGPT is being able to provide accurate answers to trivia questions, while also being able to generate AI content such as poems and songs.

Another feature of the AI is the ability to help debug code, which could make it an ideal companion for GitHub Copilot. There are also problems with the bot, including it regularly giving answers/information that look legit but are incorrect. This confusion led to Stack Overflow temporarily banning the chatbot last month.

It seems the bot’s ability to surface correct looking wrong answers is enough for the NYC education department to block it:

“Due to concerns about negative impacts on student learning, and concerns regarding the safety and accuracy of content, access to ChatGPT is restricted on New York City Public Schools’ networks and devices,” says education department spokesperson Jenna Lyle. “While the tool may be able to provide quick and easy answers to questions, it does not build critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, which are essential for academic and lifelong success.”

ChatGPT in Bing

Yesterday I reported on Microsoft working on integrating ChatGPT into its Bing search engine. Microsoft has a long-standing partnership with OpenAI. The company a $1 billion investor in the AI research group in 2019, allowing Azure to power all cloud services from the open-source organization. Microsoft also has an exclusive license of the GPT-3 API from OpenAI.

Tip of the day: The Windows Sandbox gives Windows 10/11 Pro and Enterprise users a safe space to run suspicious apps without risk. In out tutorial we show you how to enable the Windows Sandbox feature.