ChatGPT Can Turn Bad Writers Into Better Ones

People who use ChatGPT to help with writing tasks are more productive and produce higher-quality work than those who don’t, a study found.

People have been using ChatGPT to help them to do their jobs since it was released in November of last year, with enthusiastic adopters using it to help them write everything from marketing materials to emails to reports.

Now we have the first indication of its effect in the workplace. A new study by two MIT economics graduate students, published today in Science, suggests it could help reduce gaps in writing ability between employees. They found that it could enable less experienced workers who lack writing skills to produce work similar in quality to that of more skilled colleagues.

Shakked Noy and Whitney Zhang recruited 453 marketers, data analysts, and college-educated professionals and got each of them to complete two kinds of tasks they’d normally undertake as part of their jobs, such as writing press releases, short reports, or analysis plans. Half were given the option of using ChatGPT to help them complete the second of the two tasks.

A group of other professionals then quality-checked the results, grading the writing on a scale of 1 to 7, with 7 the best. Each piece of work was evaluated by three people working in the same professions, hired through the research platform Prolific.

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