Move over, humans! GPT-4, the latest AI sensation from OpenAI, has been making waves with its impressive achievements, from acing the bar exam to nailing 13 out of 15 AP exams.
But when it comes to accounting, it seems like ChatGPT – the original version, at least – still needs some number-crunching practice.
In a recent study by researchers at Brigham Young University and 186 other universities, ChatGPT went head-to-head against human accounting students. The ending? Humans took home the trophy.
As ChatGPT continues to skyrocket as the fastest growing tech platform ever, reaching a whopping 100 million users in no time, the debate about its role in education has been heating up.
To shed some light on its potential, lead study author and accounting professor, David Wood, enlisted 327 co-authors from 186 educational institutions in 14 countries. They threw a mind-boggling 25,181 accounting exam questions at ChatGPT, and recruited Wood's own daughter, Jessica, and some undergrads from BYU to toss another 2,268 textbook test bank questions at the AI bot.
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The results were intriguing, but not quite a slam dunk for ChatGPT. While it put up a valiant effort with an overall average score of 47.4%, the human students showed who's boss with an overall average of 76.7%. Ouch, tough luck, ChatGPT!
The AI model did have some shining moments though, acing questions on accounting information systems (AIS) and auditing, and even outperforming the students on 11.3% of the questions. But when it came to tax, financial, and managerial assessments, ChatGPT stumbled a bit, possibly because math isn't its forté.
The study also uncovered some quirky trends in ChatGPT's performance. It sometimes made math mistakes that would make your high school math teacher cringe; provided explanations for incorrect answers that seemed to be straight out of a sci-fi novel; and even conjured up fake references that sounded legit but were total fabrications. Well, at least ChatGPT has a sense of humor, right?
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But despite its quirks and limitations, ChatGPT has the potential to shake up the world of accounting education. It could help design and test assignments or even draft parts of a project.
It's like having a quirky assistant that might mess up sometimes, but can still lend a hand.
It's a chance for educators to reflect on how they can use technology to enhance the learning process and teach value-added information.
"This is a disruption, and we need to assess where we go from here," said study co-author and accounting professor Melissa Larson. "Of course, I'm still going to have [teaching assistants], but this is going to force us to use them in different ways."
So, while ChatGPT may not have aced its accounting exams just yet, it's definitely a promising tool that's shaking things up in the world of education.
Who knows what the future holds for the marriage of artificial intelligence and accounting? One thing's for sure, humans are still the champs, but ChatGPT is giving us a run for our money, and a good laugh along the way!