Using ChatGPT for Ideation and Other Ethical Use Cases

ChatGPT has definitely been front and center recently, both in the academic and professional worlds. While it can be useful for assignments, work, and more, it shouldn’t be seen as a replacement for doing the work yourself. However, there are ways to ethically use ChatGPT to elevate your skills. Here are some must-know facts about the AI, and how you can put it to use on your own day-to-day.

What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence chatbot that was created by OpenAI. Users can converse with the bot to chat, gain insight into topics, code, and more. While it can produce quality materials and some professionals and students have used ChatGPT to write articles, essays, and other material, the program can be wrong and lack the human touch that is needed in many of these works.

Quick Facts about ChatGPT

  • It was released in November 2022
  • There is a free and paid version. The paid version is $20 a month and users gain increased access during peak times, faster response times, and more.
  • It is currently used by over 100 million people
  • The large language model (LLM) was trained under supervision and Reinforcement Learning from Human Feedback (RLHF).
  • ChatGPT is not aware of world events after 2021 and it cannot access the internet to provide up-to-date data.
  • Responses are not always perfect, and they can be incorrect, contain made up sources, and present with bias.

Tips for Using ChatGPT Ethically

ChatGPT has its uses in the classroom and workplace, but it should never be used to do all your work for you. This has not only ethical concerns, but since ChatGPT and similar programs can be wrong, can cause serious issues if you present incorrect information. There was recently an instance where a lawyer used the AI to cite previous cases – it turned out the previous cases were made up!

So here are some tips for using ChatGPT to elevate your work without hurting your credibility.

1. Never Copy and Paste

While ChatGPT is technically capable of writing entire articles, essays, and other material, it should never be copied and pasted. When you write an article or essay and put your name on it, you are asserting you wrote it. If ChatGPT wrote the piece, you could be facing plagiarism accusations at school or work, loss of credibility in your field for incorrect data, and other problems.

The writing the AI produces instead should be used to elevate your own work. You can use it as a foundation for your own writing, to understand complex ideas, and better translate your ideas onto paper.

2. Do your Due Diligence

As stated above, ChatGPT can and has been wrong. If you are using the AI program for any data, facts, or information, you need to double-check the information. And it’s not enough to ask ChatGPT to provide sources. AI programs have been caught making up sources or even citing other AI models!

3. Understand its Limits

ChatGPT, although amazing in its own right, is not capable of everything. It will have limits. One example of these limitations comes from how it sources information. ChatGPT pulls information from things humans have created – and humans, like AI, can be wrong. If an expert in your field wrote a paper with a faulty argument, and the AI pulls from that document, you could end up with a paper that repeats that faulty argument. 

ChatGPT, since it seems like a game-changer, can trick us into believing that it is more powerful than it is. Going in with realistic expectations and understanding not just how it works, but how it sources its information, will help you get more use out of the program.

What Should You Use ChatGPT For?

ChatGPT should never be used as a replacement for your assignments. It gives others a false impression of your skills and capabilities, and you’re only hurting yourself. Essays give you the chance to make unique arguments that represent you as a person as well as the source material. They also give you vital skills that come in handy in the real world, especially in your future career.

However, that doesn’t mean you should completely rule out any use of ChatGPT. There are ways you can use it to aid your work, both at school and in your career.

1. Ideation

ChatGPT and other Ai programs are fantastic for ideation and brainstorming. If you’re struggling to choose what to write about for your college essay or a class assignment, you can bounce your ideas and thoughts off of ChatGPT. The program can give you a unique perspective on topics that you may have not previously considered before.

2. Clarification on Complex Topics

If you’re having a hard time grasping a complex topic or the topic is outside your field of study, you could feel like you’re endlessly reading material and getting nowhere. ChatGPT is great for explaining complex topics in layman’s terms. You can then head into the more complicated parts of the project with a stronger foundation of the subject.

3. Improve Your Work

While you shouldn’t let ChatGPT do your work for you, that doesn’t mean you can’t allow it to improve your work. Great for productivity and efficiency, you can use the program to:

  • Summarize topics
  • Summarize data and reports
  • Translate documents and text
  • Create a schedule
  • Find sources for research
  • Refine prompts, ideas, and thesis statements

ChatGPT can be a useful tool both in the classroom and in the workplace, but it’s essential to keep ethics in mind when using the AI program. It should never be used to write essays, assignments, application essays, scholarships, or other pieces – you could be risking your career as a college student if you do so. That doesn’t mean you should ignore ChatGPT altogether, though. Using it to elevate your work rather than doing all the work itself is a great way to take advantage of AI.


One area where ChatGPT can help is brainstorming for scholarship ideas, especially if you’re not sure what to write about! But first, you need to find those scholarships to apply to. College Raptor can help with that – we offer a free Scholarship Search tool right here!

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