A new artificial intelligence (AI) technology called ChatGPT has been banned from schools and sparked controversy among educators less than two months after its birth.
ChatGPT, a free and easy-to-use AI search tool, became an instant hit when it launched to the public in November. The user enters a question, and ChatGPT spits out an easy-to-understand answer in the form of an essay.
Despite tremendous advancements in the technology space, educators and school systems must grapple with new tools and the challenges they present.
“While the tool can provide quick and easy answers to questions, it fails to develop the critical thinking and problem-solving skills that are critical to academic and lifelong success,” said Jenna Lyle, spokeswoman for the New York City Department of Education ( Jenna Lyle) said. Education said.
Public schools in New York City and Seattle have banned the use of ChatGPT on their devices and networks, citing concerns about cheating and negative impacts on learning.
How ChatGPT Became Popular So Quickly
Adam Connor, vice president of technology policy at the Center for American Progress, said ChatGPT has become so popular because it was one of the first AI technologies of its kind to be made available to the public in a way the public could understand.
“The difference with GPT is that it is generative, it creates output in a way that ordinary people understand, rather than [the technology] “It’s just an output code or data,” which only a small percentage of people understand, Connor said.
Unlike other search engines like Google, ChatGPT is conversational, providing human-like responses and conversations with users. Users can ask ChatGPT to create resignation letters, class discussion prompts, and even student tests.
ChatGPT can be thought of as a “virtual best friend,” says Jim Chilton, CTO of education technology company Cengage Group.
“I did it with a calculus example, ‘Give me a calculus final exam.’ Not only did it generate it, but it was able to answer every question it gave me. It explained step by step how it Solving calculus problems reminds me of the principles you go through when you solve problems.”
cheating and study problems
What makes ChatGPT such a challenge for educators is that the AI technology comes up with a unique wording for the answer to the same question.
For example, when ChatGPT was asked “What is an apple?”, one response began, “An apple is a fruit that grows on trees in the family Rosaceae, usually round and red, green, or yellow in color.” When asked again When asked the same question, ChatGPT began: “An apple is a pome fruit, which means it is produced by deciduous trees in the Rosaceae family, a cultivar of the apple variety.”
These different answers may all be correct, making it difficult for educators to discern whether a student is using ChatGPT to write an assigned essay.
In a statement to The Hill, an OpenAI spokesperson said the company is already working with educators to address their concerns about ChatGPT.
“We don’t want ChatGPT being used for misleading purposes in schools or anywhere else, so we’re already developing mitigations to help anyone recognize text generated by the system. We look forward to working with educators to find useful solutions, and Other ways to help teachers and students benefit from AI,” the spokesperson said.
While technology continues to be created to catch plagiarism or cheating An arguably bigger concern with AI is the use of ChatGPT by students rather than study material.
“The concern is that they’re not learning research skills, critical thinking skills. I think that’s going to be the biggest concern. The reason we’re making them write these papers is not to make them write papers. It’s really developing these around thinking skills,” Sean Glantz, regional chapter support coordinator for the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA), said of students.
ChatGPT is not always correct
ChatGPT is a machine learning model, which means it improves with more interaction with users on the platform.
ChatGPT evolved with human interaction, and its creators say this “conversational format enables ChatGPT to answer follow-up questions, admit mistakes, challenge incorrect premises, and deny inappropriate requests.”
If it learns, it may produce incorrect information. While worrisome in some ways, it can actually be beneficial for teachers.
Glantz, who is also a high school computer science teacher in California, said the incorrect information provided by ChatGPT may help teach students to check factual statements and learn more about the technology they are using.
“It’s just plain wrong when this thing gives us an incredibly convincing answer to, well, ‘How did it come to that?’ This provides an opportunity to talk about what a language learning model is What is artificial intelligence, right? What is machine learning?” Glanz said.
Since ChatGPT is a language learning model, these errors also indicate that the technology is working as it should.
It’s “a validation of the technology and its current state of maturity, and I think we’ll let you see it get smarter over time, especially as it learns and gets more material, more information, more facts for you to build its intelligence on, Chilton said.
Do school bans work?
While some believe the ban may be temporary because of the speed at which students are using ChatGPT, experts and teachers say the ban does not appear to be useful or fair in the long run.
While Connor said he does believe the ban on ChatGPT “serves some purpose,” he said, “everyone knows it’s not a universal solution.”
A major issue with the ban is “fairness and access,” Glantz said.
When schools ban ChatGPT, they can only enforce it on school computers and WiFi. While this applies to students who do not have access to technology outside of school, many students have personal devices at home that they can use to access AI technology.
“Students are impacted the most when software like ChatGPT is banned on school computers and on school WiFi, which affects kids who only have access to technology at school using school technology,” Glantz said.
Glantz said he saw some students even use WiFi hotspots at school to get around the ban.
Teaching students how to use ChatGPT will also be important because the technology could be important for future jobs, so “making sure we provide students with these skills to take advantage of the technology is going to be important,” Glantz said.
Bypassing or operating with ChatGPT could be the start of figuring out the relationship between schools and AI technology.
“The decision on how to address ChatGPT and AI in schools going forward must rest with companies, educators, parents and administrators,” Conner said.