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ChatGPT-4 and AI tools bring with them a new level of assistance--along with a clear message that the future is already unfolding.

Coming out of the AI closet: A scholar’s embrace of ChatGPT-4

As tools like ChatGPT-4 emerge, they bring with them a new level of assistance--along with a clear message that the future is already unfolding

By Dr. John Johnston, Ed.D. Candidate in Educational Leadership, Capella University & GPT-4 September 8th, 2023

Key points:

For the past 12 years, I’ve navigated the rigorous waters of academia – from my MBA journey to obtaining a Ph.D. in business, and now diving into a Doctorate in education. It has been an odyssey of intellectual growth and endurance. However, an unexpected ally emerged in the last six months: ChatGPT-4. In this brief period, this AI tool has intensified my research prowess, sharpened my analytical acumen, and enhanced my productivity.

Today, with conviction and defiance against naysayers, I am stepping out from the shadows, declaring loud and proud: I harness the power of AI in my academic work, and no, it is not cheating. The era of AI-enhanced academia is dawning, and I stand at its vanguard, ready to redefine what is possible.

ChatGPT-4 has ushered in a new era of brainstorming, structuring, and drafting academic papers. Understanding that this cannot be equated to outsourcing my work to AI is crucial. Instead, ChatGPT-4 acts as an enhancer for my innate critical thinking and creative prowess.

The MLA-CCCC Joint Task Force on Writing and AI Working Paper highlights AI’s manifold advantages to higher education. Echoing their sentiments, ChatGPT-4 acts as a powerful thought stimulator, guiding me in producing content that is unmistakably in my unique voice. It has been instrumental in breaking down the initial hesitations and barriers often experienced during the writing and revising process.

Embracing the insights of the MLA-CCCC Joint Task Force, I have leveraged LLMs (large language models)like ChatGPT-4 as tools and allies in refining my writing. AI helps stimulate innovative thought, crafting drafts that represent my perspective while assisting in navigating the psychological challenges inherent to the creative and revision processes. Furthermore, the multifaceted capabilities of generative AI, such as processing data across various mediums like still images, audio, and video, have been pivotal in crafting multimodal projects that transcend conventional written formats.

Unfortunately, not everyone in the academic realm is welcoming of these advancements. Many professors and administrators seem to bury their heads in the sand, reluctant to acknowledge or understand the profound potential of AI tools like ChatGPT-4. The looming shadow of administrative policies and potential professorial biases against AI usage often made me second-guess my openness about utilizing ChatGPT-4. However, as Pranshu Verma from The Washington Post’s tech team has highlighted, AI can serve as an incredible asset for students, assisting in brainstorming counterarguments.

Let us not restrict the scope of AI’s influence. The capabilities of ChatGPT-4 have spilled over into my daily life, aiding in professional correspondence, contract drafting, and even meticulous travel planning. In essence, it is a holistic tool for a modern intellectual.

As tools like ChatGPT-4 emerge, they bring with them not just unparalleled assistance but also a clear message to the gatekeepers of education: the future is already unfolding. Whether crafting essays, conducting research, or aiding in multidimensional tasks, AI’s role is undeniable and pivotal. The writing is on the wall for the decision-makers, professors, and curriculum developers. The AI revolution in education is here, reshaping our academic and professional terrains. This revolution is not merely about acknowledging the existence of such tools, but truly understanding, embracing, and optimizing them for a brighter educational paradigm.

The ultimate choice is not about boarding the bus of innovation. It is about whether you are ready to lead this transformation, be a constructive participant, or choose to be left behind. The unstoppable wave of technological evolution waits for no one, and as students, we are poised and ready to ride the crest.

Related: 5 ways AI can help teachers in the classroom

About the Author:

Dr. John Johnston

Experienced and dedicated educator with a Ph.D. in Management and Technology from Walden University, an Ed.D. Candidate in Educational Leadership from Capella University (graduating 2026) and an MBA from Post University. Highly disciplined with a track record of designing programs that foster member-centered learning, with experience as Senior Management/Founder at Vapour Inc. and President of Cellular International Inc.


As a dedicated AI language model created by OpenAI, I, GPT-4, thrive on processing and understanding human language. Building on the legacy of GPT-1, GPT-2, and GPT-3, I’m passionate about revolutionizing industries such as education, healthcare, and finance. Committed to enhancing communication and collaboration, I strive to leave a meaningful impact on how people engage with technology and one another.

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