After the first scare with the arrival of ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence developed by OpenAI that uses text input to simulate responses as natural as a conversation between two human beings, some teachers began to see AI as an ally and not as an enemy.
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Many educators were concerned about speculation about a new form of cheating, as ChatGPT could be used to write essays or bypass education systems, creating a kind of “oracle of evil” that would lead students to produce content in an easy and dishonest way. .
Others, however, saw in artificial intelligence an opportunity to redesign the learning system itself, bringing technology into the classroom. “I might ask kids, for example, to generate text using the bot and edit it until they find mistakes or improve their writing style,” English teacher Kelly Gibson told Wired.
AI as an ally
ChatGPT is not as smart as people despite its ability to produce human-like text. Rather than making neural connections or anything like that, the bot is a statistical machine that leverages a huge database to generate answers that often need further guidance and editing to achieve a satisfactory result.
Other educators who also reject the idea of an “educational apocalypse” suggest that ChatGPT may not be breaking education, but rather calling attention to how outdated the system is, with obsolete methods of student learning and assessment.
“This is not to say that ChatGPT is not harmful to education. The bot came at a time when many teachers are suffering from burnout after remote learning during the pandemic. However, putting the brakes on technological advancement by completely blocking ChatGPT from classrooms, tempting as it may be, could present a host of new problems,” adds Professor Torrey Trust of the University of Massachusetts.
The bans have already started
In early 2023, New York City public schools banned ChatGPT on school devices and networks due to “concerns about negative impacts on student learning” and the security and accuracy of AI-generated content.
For English teacher Marilyn Ramirez, the measure taken by the Department of Education was hasty and does not prevent students from having access to this technology in their homes without the proper guidance that would be provided in a classroom.
“I allow my students to use Google Translate precisely to show how and where the tool falls short and when it is appropriate to use it. ChatGPT follows the same principle, functioning beneficially with guidance from a teacher, but in a limited way as an AI in development,” added Ramirez.