By Jeffrey Dastin
- The artificial intelligence behind ChatGPT, the homework-drafting chatbot that some schools have banned, is coming to more students via the company Chegg Inc.
The U.S. educational software maker has combined its corpus of quiz answers with the chatbot’s AI model known as GPT-4 to create CheggMate, a study aide tailored to students, CEO Dan Rosensweig told last week.
"It's a tutor in your pocket," he said ahead of its announcement of CheggMate on Monday.
The software will adapt to students by processing data on what classes they are taking and exam questions they have missed, personalizing practice tests and guiding study in a way generalist programs like ChatGPT cannot, Rosensweig said. It will be available next month for free initially, Chegg said.
The release is poised to widen what pupils do with AI just as educators are grappling with its consequences. Last year’s launch of ChatGPT led students to turn in assignments written coherently by the chatbot, letting some sidestep coursework and forcing faculty to vet their integrity.
The Los Angeles Unified School District has blocked access to ChatGPT on its devices and networks pending more analysis, it told , while institutions such as France’s Sciences Po banned it out of concern it plagiarized sources. Still other teachers have encouraged ChatGPT’s usage if disclosed, for purposes such as critique.
Rosensweig said Chegg focuses on math and the sciences, not the essay drafting that has challenged schools. It also lets teachers restrict review of answers to questions on current exams.
Accuracy remains a problem for AI models, which predict what to say next without a grasp of facts. Rosensweig said Chegg has structured and checked its answers to ensure accuracy.
Asked if AI will prompt Chegg to shrink its pool of 150,000 experts contributing to its content, he said the company already balances humans with technology. CheggMate likely will decrease its cost of content and boost profitability over time, he said.
Analysts in recent months have questioned whether Chegg can grow its base of 8 million subscribers as students embrace the largely free ChatGPT software, created by the startup OpenAI. Chegg’s stock has fallen 28% this year as of Friday, making its market capitalization about $2.3 billion.
OpenAI’s CEO Sam Altman said in a Monday press release that the startup eagerly partnered with Chegg to "improve the way people around the world learn."
Rosensweig said Chegg’s proprietary data showed its relevance. “That's why they're working with us,” he said.
(Reporting By Jeffrey Dastin; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)