After using ChatGPT to send a condolence message in the wake of Monday’s shooting at Michigan State University, which left three students dead, Vanderbilt University staff have apologized for their “poor judgment.”
On Thursday, the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at Peabody College, Nashville, Tennessee, sent the email.
The five-paragraph email addressed to the Peabody Family said: “The recent Michigan shootings serve as a sad reminder of how important it is to care for one another, especially in creating inclusive environments.”
The statement continued, “As members of the Peabody campus community, we must reflect on the impact of such an event and take steps to ensure that we are doing our best to create a safe and inclusive environment for all.”
The tone may sound robotic, but that’s just because it is. The email ended with a note at the bottom that said, “Paraphrase from OpenAI’s ChatGPT.”
An associate dean of Peabody apologized for his “poor judgment” in a follow-up email.
Nicole Joseph wrote: “While we believe in the message about inclusion expressed in the email,” ChatGPT being used to generate communications for our community in times of sorrow or response to tragedy does not reflect the values that characterize Peabody College.
She added: “As with all the new technologies that impact higher education, this moment allows us all to reflect on what is known and what remains to be learned about AI.”
Some students responded furiously to the email.
Laith Kayat is a Vanderbilt University senior whose sister attends Michigan State University. She told The Vanderbilt Hustler that there was a sickening irony in having a computer create your message about community and togetherness because you don’t have the time to reflect on it.