The End of the World As We Know It? Chatgpt and Social Work

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Social Work

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Released on November 30, 2022, ChatGPT is a chatbot powered by artificial intelligence (AI) that responds to prompts posed as questions, producing intelligible, mostly accurate text responses. ChatGPT is built on natural language processing, a branch of AI initiated in the 1960s that seeks to program a computer’s capacity to understand text and spoken words (Wei et al., 2018). The introduction of ChatGPT was explosive, generating both awe and fear from users and pundits across domains, age, and expertise. Historically, social work has neither embraced nor capitalized on the opportunities presented by new technologies (Goldkind et al., 2016), and AI is no exception. ChatGPT offers us an opportunity to consider how AI will disrupt social work practice in the near term, by providing a portal through which to reflect on strategies that promote the most just use of technology. We urge social workers to join existing cross-disciplinary global conversations that purposefully engage the evolution of AI, explore its implications, and advocate for its fair use.


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