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School and ChatGPT – Is it Cheating?

Is it smart to use artificial intelligence for schoolwork?

By:  |  March 13, 2023  |    691 Words
GettyImages-1247881763 ChatGPT

(Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Will robots take over the world soon? That might be going a bit far, but artificial intelligence (AI) is making some big steps forward. The change has some people worried, while others are keen to start using the new technology. You might have heard of ChatGPT, a new chatbot that has caused a commotion across the internet.

ChatGPT impressed the world by doing a whole range of things, such as answering questions, telling jokes, writing news articles and social media posts, composing music in the style of Mozart, and creating pieces of art. People can ask the bot anything they want, and the AI has surprised the world with its lifelike answers.

Elon Musk tweeted: “It’s a new world. Goodbye homework!” Young people often find it easiest to adapt to new technologies, so will AI become the next big thing in homes and classrooms?

What Is Artificial Intelligence?

Ever since they were invented, computers have been getting more and more complex. Today, we even have supercomputers that perform a quintillion (1,000,000,000,000,000,000) calculations per second! But can a computer really be intelligent? The human brain absorbs information and constantly learns new things based on its environment. Humans can also be creative, coming up with new ideas and adapting to new information. A computer that can learn like this is called an artificial intelligence, or AI.

Some simple AIs have existed for a while, and scientists have been training them to become smarter. So, what’s changed now? Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, recently explained:

“The easiest way to understand it is AIs got very good [at some tasks] but they essentially couldn’t read. That is, if you handed them a textbook, like biology, and you said ‘OK, here’s a test, did you really understand what was in this book?’ they could not do it. These new things, including ChatGPT, as they’re trained and tuned and improved, they can read and write in an extremely good way.”

ChatGPT in Schools?

The new AI program has caused a stir in schools, too. Should students be allowed to use ChatGPT to write essays, solve math problems, or do research projects? Can AI help kids learn, or would this be cheating? Schools across America seem to disagree.

GettyImages-1247854433 ChatGPT

(Photo Illustration by Mateusz Slodkowski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

New York City’s Department of Education quickly restricted ChatGPT for pupils, with spokesperson Jenna Lyle saying the decision was “Due to concerns about negative impacts on student learning.” She continued: “While the tool may be able to provide quick and easy answers to questions, it does not build critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, which are essential for academic and lifelong success.”

Adam Stevens, a history teacher at Brooklyn Tech, disagreed with the decision. “People said the same thing about Google 15 or 20 years ago when students could ‘find answers online,’” he said, suggesting AI could have some benefits in the classroom.

School districts in Los Angeles and Baltimore have also banned the AI in some situations. On the other hand, Cobb County, Georgia, is excited to try out the technology. “Like most technological tools, ChatGPT can support student learning, when used effectively,” a spokesperson said, “it could be a valuable tool.” Other schools across the country are still reviewing the situation and haven’t taken any action on ChatGPT yet.

Artificial intelligence will probably become a big part of kids’ lives as they grow up in a high-tech world. This means young people could benefit from learning how to use the software. But can they use ChatGPT for writing term papers? The Associated Press asked the AI to write a rap answering that very question, and here it is:

ChatGPT’s just a tool,

But it ain’t no substitute for school.

You can’t cheat your way to the top,

Using a machine to do your homework, you’ll flop.

Plagiarism’s a no-no,

And ChatGPT’s text is not your own, yo.

So put in the work, earn that grade,

Don’t try to cheat, it’s not worth the trade.

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