In this final part of the series, I'll evaluate ChatGPT's ability to act as a dictionary with definitions, example sentences, synonyms, phonetic transcriptions, etc., help with sentence and word stress, and test its ability to create grammar and vocabulary quizzes and other useful exercises.
Transcript of the episode
This is the third and final part of this little series of episodes I've done about using ChatGPT to learn English.
I'm experimenting with a few different queries to see if it can do things like:
- Make study plans for you
- Simulation of natural conversations
- Correct your mistakes
- Provide role play practice for specific situations such as job interviews
- It helps you with tasks and exercises for Cambridge exams
In this part I will try to answer these questions:
- Can you use ChatGPT as a dictionary?
- Can he give us exact definitions, information about parts of speech, pronunciation, example sentences, synonyms, antonyms, compositions?
- Can it provide information about the etymology of words and phrases?
- Can he transcribe things into the phonetic alphabet?
- Does it transcribe things accurately into British English pronunciation?
- It can convert between different dialects of English, e.g. will it convert american english to british english or specific dialects of british english?
- Can it help us to practice reading texts or presentation scripts with correct sentence stress, word tone, pause and stress?
- Can it help us practice grammar by doing quizzes or tests? Are these tests reliable?
- Can a test help you remember vocabulary?
- Can Memory Mnemonics Help You Remember Words and Spelling?
- Can it create text adventure games?
- Can he adapt his English to different levels?
- What are my overall thoughts and conclusions about ChatGPT?
You can download a PDF of the script for this episode, which contains all the messages I use to make ChatGPT do certain things.
Check the episode description and you will find a link to my website where you can get PDF scripts for parts 1, 2 and 3 of this series.
If you are watching YouTube, I recommend using full screen to make it easier to read the text on the screen.
Okay, without further ado, let's play around with ChatGPT a little more and see how it can help you learn English.
Ask him to define the words
What does "walk" mean?
I must say he gave very good definitions.
Probably not as good as a real dictionary.
Just type the words into the dictionary and you'll get a lot more information, including parts of speech, pronunciation, example sentences, relative phrasal verbs and more.
But that said, you can ask ChatGPT for more details about words, such as:
- Can you give me some example sentences with the verb "walk" in different tenses?
- What are the common combinations with the word roam?
- What are synonyms for the word "Ramble"?(I should have clarifiedfor ways of speaking)
- Can you write the word "ramble" into phonetic notation?
What is the origin of the phrase "break a leg?"
Create a mnemonic to help you remember the vocabulary
Can you make some mnemonics to help me remember these words and phrases?
wander, ramble, meander, go off on a tangent, wander off
It is, and I have to say, it's pretty impressive.
You'll still need to use your imagination a bit, but these mnemonics are definitely a good place to start.
Ask him to write things in phonetic notation
But only in standard American?
Is he good at transcribing things into British English?
Can you translate this sentence into phonetic notation?
I want a hot dog with lots of ketchup.
Different language versions
Can you turn this story into (insert dialect here)?
This is a section I made that contains many words that differ between American and British English.
Let's see if he can convert this British version to American English.
I'll read it first. See if you can spot the words that differ between American and British English.
Have a funny dialogue between two English-speaking friends in a pub in London. Include a joke at the end of the dialogue.
Make the same answer, but the two friends are from Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Sentence stress, pause and emphasis
Ask him to help you read the text with proper pause, stress and emphasis.
Can you help me read this passage showing where the pauses, stress and emphasis should be?
Chat GPT, or chat-based genetic pretrained transformer models, is a type of artificial intelligence that allows users to interact with a virtual assistant using natural language. This technology is based on the principles of GPT-3, the third generation of the popular pretrained transformer production model.
One of the key features of GPT Chat is its ability to generate real-time responses based on user input.
This is from a ChatGPT article I foundmedij.com👇
Fromwellshow where the breaks should be,
but it isbadin the event of word stress or sentence stress.
☝️Bad bad bad bad bad! ☝️
Grammar or vocabulary quiz or test
Let's ask him to do a critical grammar test for the upper intermediate level.
Create a grammar test with 10 questions that will help me practice English at a higher and intermediate level.
10 questions are not really enough to cover all grammar areas, but you would expect them to cover at least 10 different grammar points. He did it?
What if I ask him to do a grammar test with 20 questions for level B2? Does it use a wide variety of formats? Does the candidate have to demonstrate language skills, or is it just a multiple choice?
The results are not as rigorous, complete, reliable or detailed as similar tests in published material, such as the diagnostic test at the end of English Grammar in Use by Murphy.
Nor does it focus on the language you study on your course.
Always use multiple options.
Basically - it doesn't make for a very reliable test.
Review vocabulary tests to help you remember words and phrases
Do a vocabulary test to help me remember and use these words and phrases.
The test he did was multiple choice and contained only definitions.
Definitions are good, but they are not the best way to help you remember vocabulary. You need example sentences and it is best to use words in a meaningful and contextual way. At least give us example sentences with the words and phrases removed and ask us to put the right words in the right place, maybe in the right form.
But it's better than nothing, and I think it could be helpful if you have a list of words or phrases you're trying to remember.
Text adventure game to practice grammar
I've always wanted to make one like this but never got around to it. One of the reasons is that it is quite a long project and requires a lot of patience to make sure I use a lot of good grammar questions and combine it with an interesting story with an interesting choice. Maybe ChatGPT can reduce a lot of work.
Create a 5-minute text adventure game to help me practice English grammar
Good idea, but the work was poor. He ended up making a game without the grammar questions and then playing the actual game.
I'm sure there are other language exercises or activities that ChatGPT could do.
If you think of other things, write them in the comments section.
Ask him to adjust his English level to yours
You can write things like "adjust your English to level B1"Or something like that.
Actually, I just tried this query:
Give me some tips on how to set up a podcast studio. Use English at A2 level.
Can you adapt this passage from Shakespeare's Hamlet to Beginner English (A2)?
So you can ask him to use simple English at your level.
You can of course also ask for it in your mother tongue, but you must ask to answer in English.
Overview / Comments / Conclusions
It's certainly far better than any chatbot I've ever seen before.
There is no doubt how impressive he is in many ways. I've only scratched the surface here. It can do many other things like creating legal contracts, writing song lyrics, writing short stories, movie plots, designing essays, essays, etc.
But I think at this point we still have to be a little skeptical or judgmental. It's impressive at first, but working closely with it shows us its limitations.
Do not assume that it provides accurate or reliable answers to your questions. He seems missing things and sometimes contradictory, and he also lacks the overall vision and emotional intelligence that a good teacher can have.
There are also questions about things like how it might encourage cheating, as well as other criticisms (I'll explore more in a few minutes).
They did wonders with the marketing – they allowed us to use it freely which got everyone talking about it and as a result it went viral and everyone was talking about it. This helps them make money now (selling it as a service that people can embed on their websites etc and charging people for the PRO version of it) and also allows them to get a lot more data (since millions of people have used it) which allows them to develop it further. In fact, it is constantly improving and changing, becoming more precise and sophisticated.
For learning English, there are definitely ways it can help, including getting some long-term things like doing little memory tests, creating sample texts and dialogues for you to use, and limited conversational practice.
One of its main advantages is error correction. It can quickly correct mistakes in your writing and even explain why, although the explanation is a bit limited.
It can improve your English, but don't rely too much on it. Try to use it as a tool to help you improve your English, not just something you rely on to the detriment of your own progress. Learn from her, but don't let her do all the work.
You must have a good enough level of English to request ChatGPT correctly. Sometimes you have to find "clever" ways to do exactly what you want, and I think that requires quite a bit of control over your language.
As I mentioned earlier, you often have to find different ways to ask your question or ask a query before you get what you're looking for.
Remember, you can tell him *exactly* what to do. So keep being specific.
It's still a bit early to fully rely on it as a personal language tutor or conversational partner, but it can be a handy tool for some basic tasks that can be time-consuming.
Chat GPT has no emotional intelligence. He's not good at figuring out what you really want him to do, which is something I have to do all the time as a teacher. I always interpret my students' intentions and what they want to say, then help them find the right words or phrases for it, and then help them do it again and again, constantly adapting and responding, and also dealing with students' feelings and emotional reactions. It is a special kind of dance that you have to do with the student and it is extremely complex and requires a lot of sensitivity and also a lot of teaching experience to be able to identify exactly what is required of you as a teacher.
ChatGPT has a long way to go.
So far, it doesn't replace the interaction you can have with a real person, and it's still one of the best ways to practice and develop proper English communication skills. It is definitely better to practice communicating in English with a real person, preferably someone who can help you learn English because they have skills and experience in this area.
Also, do not underestimate the importance of these emotional aspects of communicating with people. ChatGPT does not replace this time.
Maybe one day he'll be so good that talking to him is indistinguishable from talking to a real person, which in some ways is a very unsettling prospect.
But in any case, it is important to keep practicing your English by interacting with real people in social situations.
Talking to people can be a little intimidating if you're shy or introverted, but it's important to practice because interpersonal skills are key to communication.
ChatGPT doesn't speak or listen yet, so no listening or speaking practice is possible, but no doubt it will come eventually.
What does ChatGPT say about its limitations as a language learning tool?
What are the possible problems with using ChatGPT to learn English?
I wonder if it will be free forever. They've done it for free now to get our attention, but eventually we'll probably have to pay to get the full benefit of it. In fact, the free version is already quite limited. It is slow and stops working after approx. 1 hour of interaction.
I wonder if later this year ChatGPT will still be available as it is now. I expect they will let us all use it for a while to get our attention and now they are monetizing the product and restricting free access to it.
I wonder how ChatGPT will develop. It will definitely get better and better.
Maybe one day (soon) it will make everything we want perfect.
There are also some scary aspects when we imagine the impact it could have on the world.
Despite what I said, it does not replace human interaction, it is extremely advanced and sophisticated, and this is only the current version of the software.
I expect that this current iteration of ChatGPT is only the tip of the iceberg, and that eventually it will be nearly impossible to distinguish a chatbot from a real human.
And when this is combined with live speech production and reality graphics (deepfakes) too - a video version that speaks and reacts naturally with a realistic face and voice, so realistic in fact that we won't be able to tell if we're dealing with human or not, it's going to be pretty scary because suddenly we're living in a Bladerunner, ExMachina or A.I. with all the moral and social implications these films explore.
Along the way, these films seem to explore the question of whether it is ethical for us to create highly intelligent artificial intelligence capable of human emotions, and whether it is ethical for us to treat them as slaves or subhumans. They are like us, even better than us in many ways, but they do not have the same rights as us.
Other films have explored the threat to humanity posed by artificial intelligence. This includes things like the Terminator series and The Matrix, which depict a world where artificial intelligence becomes self-aware and chooses to fight humans or enslave us.
A more immediate and realistic problem with something like ChatGPT is how it might affect the labor market and whether it will lay off a lot of people.
What will we do when so much of our work can be done by artificial intelligence that we don't need to eat, sleep or rest? What will happen to us; Will people still be employable? What happens when the human population continues to grow, but the number of jobs we can do for a living decreases?
I have no idea.
And will artificial intelligence eventually make learning another language completely unnecessary? Do we only want simultaneous automatic translations? Will artificial intelligence completely augment our reality? Will we somehow connect with technology in the most intimate and integrated way, meaning we no longer need to learn languages?
I'm not sure to be honest. What people usually say in response to this question is that we will always learn languages because there is no substitute for the experience of communicating with people who naturally use the language, and no technology can replace or adequately replicate that experience.
Let's ask ChatGPT some more questions about itself, regarding things like people's fear of it and whether it will cause more scams
What are people's fears about how ChatGPT will change the world for the better?
How can artificial intelligence become a threat to humans?
Will ChatGPT Help People Cheat?
Probably yes. I don't see how that won't be a problem. I mean, it's almost certainly going to be a problem. Of course, students will take the easy way out and have ChatGPT write essays or other assignments for them. This is bad, of course, because these students will not actually acquire the skills and knowledge they should acquire during their studies, and this can jeopardize educational effectiveness in general.
I don't know how to solve this problem. I don't know how OpenAI responded to this.
Let's see what ChatGPT has to say about people using it to cheat at work.
Will ChatGPT help people cheat on homework and school reports?
Will there be more scams as a result of ChatGPT?
So he encourages people to cheat and he doesn't know how people will use his services, but let's be honest - it will definitely result in more cheating.
It will be very interesting to see how ChatGPT and other software (because it is not only OpenAI - there are many other competing companies developing similar systems around the world) It will be very interesting to see how this changes the world and everyone hope that it will change things for the better and that will ultimately improve the human experience, make our lives better, enable us to thrive.
That's it - thanks for listening!
Give your feedback in the comments section.
I'll probably do another episode on ChatGPT just because it's fun to mess with him and really see what he can do, including asking him to schedule a podcast episode for me, writing the intro for the episode, having fun conversations, write jokes and short stories and a lot of other things.