Impact of ChatGPT on applications

lunchtime pondering- Has anyone considered the potential impact of text generating AI systems on registration applications? I have a feeling that a simple copy and past of the requirements into something like ChatGPT could provide an applicant with a sufficient response to them. I know interviews could be the downfall of such an applicant, but it’s a tool that could be used to generate answers for this as well.

  • ChatGPT will only give it a narrative based on what you've asked it for.  If you feed it the requirements of UKSPEC, it will give you back something that talks about those requirements, but doesn't look like a specific engineer's career path.  You could fake a career, and get ChatGPT to turn that into a narrative, but I hope that anyone doing that would be caught out in the interview.

  • Fully agree, I suspect we will see (at least as draft) applications with wording such as "compliance to standards is important to manage safety to societal expectations" - the sort of thing ChatGPT is really good at coming up with -  but a PRA would suggest to the candidate that they take it out as completely irrelevant. As Simon says, the only information on the application should be directly related to the applicant, not background about engineering generally.

    Registration applications are NOT technical knowledge exams in any way, they are presenting a personal history of the applicant.

    Maybe when I have five minutes and can get onto it (it spends a lot of it's time overloaded at the moment!) I'll try asking it to make me a CEng application and see what happens!

  • I thought that. It may be some

    evening activity one day this week!

  • I just wonder if it will result in a lack of thought in the application process?

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  • There may be the first time they apply, but what the applicant will find is that their application gets immediately rejected, for the reasons Simon and I gave above. And that's nothing new, even without AI we see plenty of applications which are bland with no personal information which immediately get rejected!

    Now, when AI can take a CV and reword it then it will get more interesting, and it's conceivable that that could happen. (ChatGPT is not that clever yet, or more precisely it only writes based on the knowledge it already has, not knowledge you feed it. It simply doesn't know, and can't know, what job you did at xyz and what work that involved you in.) The AI would then have to basically make up the additional information to flesh out a CV to a full application, which could lead to some very embarrassed applicants when it comes to interview! 

    Fortunately we're in a very different position to schools / universities - AI can search the internet for the answer to "discuss Katherine's journey in The Taming of the Shrew from a feminist perspective", but very few of us have publicly available information on our precise roles and responsibilities and how we undertook them on particular projects - certainly not to the level of detail required for registration.