Emmanuel Carli: “IT schools are not threatened by ChatGPT”

Computer science and coding schools are forced to adapt to this artificial intelligence, at the risk of being downgraded, believes the former CEO of Epitech.

Since its launch by OpenAI last November, ChatGPT shakes up the methods teachers and student learning. Because this chatbot can do (almost) everything: summarize Madame Bovary in a few seconds, write a dissertation plan, write a screenplay, a poem… But also create lines of code. Enough to threaten the existence of computer science and coding schools? Far from it, says Emmanuel Carli, former director general of the Epitech computer school, now at Deloitte, a law firm, for whom human expertise remains essential.

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“This profession, like others, will not disappear, but will adapt. Schools will therefore have to continue to train them.Emmanuel Carly

What impact can ChatGPT have in coding and computer science schools?

Initiatives have been springing up for years to eliminate code or do no code, that is to say, create websites or content without having a solid knowledge of computer language. But we can see that it doesn’t really work. Thus, I do not believe that one day there will no longer be a need for software developers because, year after year, technological innovations are added to the tools that already exist. This profession, like others, will not disappear, but will adapt. Schools will therefore have to continue to train them.

Doing a school to learn to code will therefore always be necessary?

Obviously. There has been a trend in recent years that anyone can learn to code. In fact, it’s true. The real question is rather that of the level of expertise that we want to have. Would you accept that your doctor does not know the anatomy of your body perfectly? So why would we want it to take so little time to grasp something as advanced as IT? You have to allow yourself time to learn. Computer and code schools are not threatened, I am not worried for a second. It all depends on what they do with it.

“Banning ChatGPT would be absurd. If the exams are so simple that he can answer them, then schools need to revise the level of the subjects. This tool needs to be less relevant”Emmanuel Carli, former CEO of Epitech

So schools must necessarily adapt to this new tool?

Imagine people who share their knowledge of a technology in open source: knowledge of this object is evolving very quickly. If you are teaching academically, the technology will evolve between the beginning and the end of the course. We must therefore create a different method of learning. ChatGPT will be an additional tool. The more layers are added to the software, that is to say innovations, the more the tools perform. Schools that remain on the surface of these tools will no longer train experts and will be sidelined. You have to use this tool the same way we started using Google in 1998. It’s the same except that ChatGPT uses human-enhanced AI, so the interface is simpler.

ChatGPT is changing the way students are assessed. Should they be prohibited from using it?

It would be absurd. If the exams are so simple that ChatGPT can answer them, then schools need to ask themselves about the level of their subjects. We must make it more complex, make this tool less relevant. We have to dissociate the problem from the solutions and stop being in a world where the only word is “prohibit”, it makes no sense and it’s serious. It is precisely the fruit of IT work to have this tool.

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What are the limitations of this application for students and teachers?

ChatGPT is going to be a source of information like books are today. The problem for the moment is the veracity of the information. You have to be aware of the limits and therefore of a certain form of dangerousness. It is a tool that you have to learn to understand.

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Emmanuel Carli: “IT schools are not threatened by ChatGPT”

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