Should AI be allowed for educational use?

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It’s difficult to explain exactly how artificial intelligence using large language models work, so I asked Chat-GPT. Here’s what it said: 

“Large language models such as GPT-3, are advanced AI systems that can understand and generate human-like text. They are trained on vast amounts of data, learning the intricacies of language and context to provide nuanced responses. These models use deep learning techniques to process and generate text, allowing them to perform tasks like answering questions, writing essays, and even engaging in conversation. Despite their impressive capabilities, they are not conscious beings but rather sophisticated algorithms that excel at mimicking human language patterns, raising ethical questions about their use and impact on society.” 

Schools have had and will continue to have students use Artificial Intelligence in order to complete assignments more quickly. However, learning comes at the cost of using AI. “It’s one of those things many teacher’s will probably say, but it’s not useful when students use it to avoid the actual learning process,” says WHS English teacher Mr. McGrath. Taking this shortcut sacrifices time at home to learn valuable information for future careers. 

On the other hand, AI has an infinite amount of uses due to the large amount of information and content they are able to provide. Furthermore, this power is constantly increasing. 

So, can AI be efficiently used in ways to help students learn? “Only in some cases, roughly like 5%,” says Mr. McGrath. “Like I said, [only in cases like] brainstorming should it be allowed.” Brainstorming through the use of AI is helpful as it can quickly gather information towards key points and interests the student may be wanting to explore. The idea of AI being in the classroom is frequently discussed amongst teachers, especially English teachers, since they primarily focus on writing and helping students become fluent writers and readers. 

The perspectives of students and teachers on AI are vastly different, and each individual has their own opinion on how schools should integrate technology such as Artificial Intelligence within the classroom. According to senior student Diana Arreola, at Kennedy High School, “From the perspective of a student, they look at AI as a way to go the easy route, and have it do all the work. Only a few students use AI as a helpful resource to study.” Students have to be extra wary of the information being presented to them from an AI, as AI sometimes generates inaccurate information. 

AI detection programs do exist in order to catch students using AI programs to help them write their papers. However, Arreola simply states, “Teachers have downloaded programs to detect AI written work. It could easily be manipulated by the changing of words being used.” In schools it’s already known that students are capable of using ChatGPT and its alternatives. Teachers have integrated programs such as to combat AI papers, although there are questions about how reliable they are. There have been cases of “false positives” where original writing is incorrectly labeled AI. Artificial intelligence constantly goes through the process of machine learning, continuously learning from inputs being given to it both directly and indirectly, and as such there are many factors which should be taken into consideration when we are deciding what to allow into the education system.

Nathan Vinoray is a Senior at Washington High School. He was born and raised in Fremont, California. It’s his first year on WHS Hatchet. He hopes to bring out some new topics to Hatchet. He enjoys doing a lot of things in his free time, like 3D modeling, creating personal films, and hanging out with friends and family. Nathan plans to join the Army within the next year or two while trying to major in Engineering and hopes to leave the US and live in Europe for some time.

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