Can AI Chatbots Pass the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) and Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) Structural Exams?

by   M. Z. Naser, et al.

The engineering community has recently witnessed the emergence of chatbot technology with the release of OpenAI ChatGPT-4 and Google Bard. While these chatbots have been reported to perform well and even pass various standardized tests, including medical and law exams, this forum paper explores whether these chatbots can also pass the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) and Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exams. A diverse range of civil and environmental engineering questions and scenarios are used to evaluate the chatbots' performance, as commonly present in the FE and PE exams. The chatbots' responses were analyzed based on their relevance, accuracy, and clarity and then compared against the recommendations of the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). Our report shows that ChatGPT-4 and Bard, respectively scored 70.9 the PE exam. It is evident that the current version of ChatGPT-4 could potentially pass the FE exam. While future editions are much more likely to pass both exams, this study also highlights the potential of using chatbots as teaching assistants and guiding engineers.


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