Written by Jeffrey Dustin

(Reuters) – The artificial intelligence behind ChatGPT, a homework chatbot that some schools have banned, is becoming more accessible to students through Chegg Inc.

The US educational software maker has combined its quiz answer set with an artificial intelligence chatbot model known as GPT-4 to create CheggMate, a study aid aimed at students, CEO Dan Rosensweig told Reuters last week.

“It’s a tutor in your pocket,” he said before announcing CheggMate on Monday.

The software will adapt to students by processing data about what classes they attend and exam questions they miss, personalizing practice tests and targeting learning in a way that generic programs like ChatGPT can’t, Rosensweig said. It will be available next month initially for free, Chegg said.

The release is poised to expand what students do with AI as educators grapple with its implications. Last year’s launch of ChatGPT forced students to hand in assignments written sequentially by a chatbot, allowing some to bypass coursework and forcing teachers to test their integrity.

The Los Angeles Unified School District has blocked access to ChatGPT on its devices and networks pending further analysis, Reuters reported, while institutions such as France’s Sciences Po have banned it over concerns it plagiarized sources . Still other teachers encouraged the use of ChatGPT when disclosing information for purposes such as criticism.

Rosensweig said Chegg focuses on math and science rather than writing essays, which challenges schools. It also allows instructors to restrict viewing of answers to questions on current exams.

Accuracy remains a challenge for AI models that predict what to say next without understanding the facts. Rosensweig said Chegg structured and vetted its responses to ensure their accuracy.

When asked if AI would force Chegg to cut its pool of 150,000 experts contributing to its content, he said the company is already balancing people and technology. CheggMate will likely lower the cost of content and increase profitability over time, he said.

In recent months, analysts have wondered whether Chegg could grow its 8 million subscriber base if students use the mostly free software ChatGPT, created by startup OpenAI. Shares of Chegg have fallen 28% this year as of Friday, leaving it with a market capitalization of about $2.3 billion.

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman said in a press release Monday that the startup is eager to partner with Chegg to “improve the way people around the world learn.”

Rosensweig said Chegg’s proprietary data shows its relevance. “That’s why they work with us,” he said.

(Reporting by Jeffrey Dustin; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)

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