Will ChatGPT kill college?

Will ChatGPT kill college?

Where Innovation Meets Investing

A message from a reader… The new ChatGPT just came out… Will it be the nail in the coffin for thousands of colleges across America?

  1. At least with healthcare, you get something for your money. College, on the other hand...

A RiskHedge Report reader wrote me after I called healthcare “America’s most broken industry.”

He said that title should go to our education system.

He continued:

People pay many tens of thousands of dollars (if not 100K+) for degrees that won't get them a job anywhere except maybe at a university teaching that same useless subject to other gullibles.

Public schools are turning out illiterate students for God-awful amounts of money. It is *very* broken.

I agree college seems to be crippling kids more than helping them these days—both financially and in their ability to think critically.

Longtime readers know I’ve been writing about the death of college since 2019.

Back then, it was one of my most controversial ideas. Today? It’s becoming more and more of a reality...

  1. College used to cost a reasonable amount of money.

As recently as 1980, you could get a four-year bachelor’s degree at a public school for less than $10K, on average.

These days, it’ll cost you $40K at a minimum… $140K for a private school... or well over $250K for a top school.

And as our reader pointed out, a college degree doesn’t guarantee you a high-paying job.

Sure, there are some professions that require a college degree.

If you want to be a doctor, going to school is a must. But the vast majority of teenagers aren’t training to be surgeons.

Hundreds of thousands of American kids sign up to get “business” degrees each college semester. Yet… there’s no skill called “business.”

Simply put, college is a waste of money for many kids. And they’re finally realizing it...

In fact, since my essay in 2019, college enrollment has plunged by more than one million students. This marks 11 years in a row of falling college enrollments. College is in a bear market.

And now, this trend is about to accelerate in a BIG way…

  1. By now, you’ve heard of ChatGPT. Well, now there’s a newer, better version: ChatGPT-4.

This latest version of the popular AI chatbot was released last week.

For now, it’s only available to paying subscribers. The free ChatGPT version still runs on the prior version: GPT-3.

But GPT-4 is much better

The old version can generate up to 4,000 words. GPT-4 generates up to 25K words.

GPT-4 does much better with school tests. It passed a law school exam and scored in the top 10%. The old version passed it too but scored in the bottom 10%.

The new ChatGPT is also unique in its ability to recognize images. For example, you can take a snapshot of your fridge and it will create a three-course meal from the available ingredients.

ChatGPT-4 can write lawsuits, take SATs, and tell you how to extract DNA from an apple...

But here’s the best part:

  1. ChatGPT-4 can teach!

You can personalize it to teach in any style.

I’ve seen dozens of examples on the internet of parents tutoring kids using it.

In other words, kids are getting their own AI teachers. They’ll read, play, and learn about the world together.

It’ll be like having a personal tutor with unlimited time, patience, and knowledge to teach any subject.

And this isn’t years and years away. It’s happening now…

  1. Have you tried Duolingo (DUOL)?

It’s a popular app that turns learning languages into a fun game.

And it’s now equipped with GPT-4.

Any time you make a mistake, you can ask the app why you were wrong, and GPT-4 will explain it.

Duolingo also uses the AI to create random roleplay scenarios, so you don’t practice the same conversation over and over again.

Khan Academy is another organization using GPT-4 for teaching.

It offers thousands of lessons in math, science, history, and other classes for students of all ages.

It just released Khanmigo, a GPT-4-powered AI tutor which adapts to each student’s learning style and level.

I expect hundreds of Khanmigo-like tutor apps will hit the market in the coming years.

  1. ChatGPT’s only been around for four months. And the tech behind it has been around for less than three years.

Each new version gets exponentially better.

GPT-3 uses 175 billion parameters to generate answers. GPT-4 will use 100 trillion.

Source: becominghuman.ai

ChatGPT can already teach middle and high school classes.

How long before it takes you through an entire four-year business degree… for FREE?

Mark my words: ChatGPT will disrupt college forever.

Now, of course, this won’t happen to every college in America. Top schools like Harvard and Yale will always attract elite kids and command huge tuitions. They’re “disruption proof.”

But the thousands of schools selling “standard-issue” degrees are in deep trouble.

I predict at least half of the 6,000 middle-of-the-road US colleges will go bust in the next decade because of disruptors like ChatGPT.

Stephen McBride
Chief Analyst, RiskHedge

P.S. Was your college degree worth the money? Let me know at stephen@riskhedge.com.

In the mailbag…

Here’s what one reader had to say about our recent RiskHedge Report on the end of Silicon Valley:

Thanks for your perspective today. I hadn’t been looking at the demise of SVB the way you painted it, but having seen your take, I can’t go back.

In 2000, I was a co-founder of a boutique engineering company. We had a dozen clients and were doing a few million dollars a year in business, steadily growing our engineering base and attempting to capture stronger and stronger clients.

Then time stopped for all of us all of a sudden.

What we hadn’t fully appreciated was that, though we had diversified to 12 clients, every last one of them was VC-backed. Around December of 2000, [each] came to us in a panic, with lines like: “We love your work, but […] we can no longer afford you.”

Six months later, my company went under. History rhymes. —Bernard

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