OK, the subtitle overpromises. I’ve had “a little interaction,” and that doesn’t answer the question with any real certainty. But for what it’s worth, I’ll share what happened.
ChatGPT is an online tool that answers questions, even complex ones, using artificial intelligence (AI). Lots of teachers are concerned that this will hamper their ability to assign writing and maintain academic integrity. Early evaluations are mixed.
Here’s what I did.
I asked the tool to “write an essay evaluating Paul’s use of intertextuality in Romans 3.” I tried to word it to heighten the chance that the essential stupidity of computers would work against the bot. (Yes, they’re wicked fast, which can give the illusion of smarts, but at root they have no intelligence whatsoever, except the artificial kind.) I asked for an essay, and for evaluation; I didn’t call Paul a “saint”; I didn’t mention the Bible, and I didn’t say what “3” meant.
Here’s what it produced:
Intertextuality, the concept of drawing on other texts and literary sources in one’s writing, is a prevalent feature in the New Testament, particularly in the letters of Paul. The apostle’s use of intertextuality can be seen in many of his letters, including Romans 3.
In this chapter, Paul draws on a number of Old Testament texts to make his point about the sinfulness of humanity and the need for righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ. One of the most notable examples of intertextuality in this chapter can be seen in verses 10-18, where Paul quotes from the book of Psalms to emphasize the universality of sin and the need for salvation through faith. By using these Old Testament references, Paul is able to connect his message to the Jewish tradition and to make a clear connection between the Old Testament and the gospel message.
Another way in which Paul uses intertextuality in Romans 3 is through his allusions to other parts of the Old Testament. For example, in verses 21-22, Paul refers to the Old Testament concept of righteousness being given through faith, an idea that is prominent in the book of Habakkuk. By alluding to these other texts, Paul is able to reinforce his message and make a deeper connection with his audience.
In addition to drawing on Old Testament texts, Paul also uses intertextuality to connect his message to the larger narrative of the gospel. For example, in verse 24, Paul refers to the idea of redemption through the blood of Christ, a concept that is central to the gospel message. By referencing this central idea, Paul is able to connect his message in Romans 3 to the larger narrative of salvation through faith in Jesus.
In conclusion, Paul’s use of intertextuality in Romans 3 is both effective and sophisticated. By drawing on Old Testament texts and alluding to other parts of the gospel narrative, Paul is able to reinforce his message and make a deeper connection with his audience. Through his use of intertextuality, Paul shows that his message is rooted in the Jewish tradition and the larger gospel narrative, and that it is intended to bring salvation to all people.
I then made another request: “Evaluate the previous essay for evidence of origination by ChatGPT.” Here’s what it gave me:
The essay demonstrates characteristics consistent with an AI model’s writing. For example, the language is formal and academic, with a clear structure and well-defined arguments. The use of terms such as “intertextuality” and “allusions” shows a familiarity with literary terminology, which is also consistent with an AI model’s training.
However, the essay also lacks a personal touch or a unique perspective that would be expected from a human writer. The language and arguments are polished and well-constructed, but they lack the depth and nuance that can only come from a personal understanding and connection with the topic.
Additionally, the essay relies heavily on facts and terminology, but lacks personal anecdotes or examples to illustrate the points being made. This lack of personalization and emphasis on facts is also consistent with an AI model’s writing style.
In conclusion, the essay shows strong evidence of being generated by an AI model such as ChatGPT. The formal language, well-defined structure, and reliance on facts are all consistent with the writing of an AI model. However, the essay lacks the personal touch and unique perspective that would be expected from a human writer.
These products are impressive, but I think I would spot the fakery if a student submitted them to me. I’ll talk about that in the next post.
Photo by Andy Kelly on Unsplash