(AmericanProsperity.com) – Schools often look for ways to implement technology into their classrooms, which can help make the jobs of teachers easier and improve students’ learning. A recent technology hit the ground running and quickly became popular — so fast, in fact, that schools are struggling with it. ChatGPT only launched in November, but educators are already looking for ways to prevent their students from using it.
What Is ChatGPT?
A search engine powered by artificial intelligence (AI), ChatGPT is so easy to use that anyone can run it, and the technology is free for anyone to access. A person types a question in the tool, and it provides an easy to understand answer in the form of an essay. One might be able to see where this is going. ChatGPT is a trailblazer for the world of technology, but school systems have to find a way to overcome the challenges it presents.
Rise to Fame
Despite being released in November, ChatGPT has quickly become popular. Policy Center for American Progress vice president of technology, Adam Conner, explained to The Hill how the technology became so popular in a relatively short amount of time. According to Conner, the software spread like wildfire because “it’s generative.”
The vice president of technology further elaborated that the tool creates outputs that an average person can understand rather than lines of code or a data set that only people with knowledge of them can comprehend. What sets ChatGPT apart from Google and other search engines is the fact it can be conversational, give human-like responses, and offer dialogue to whoever is using it. A person can use the technology to write tests for students, a resignation letter, discussion prompts, and much more.
ChatGPT is a cause for concern among educators as students can use it to cheat. To top it off, the technology also uses unique wording, even when answering the same question, making it very difficult to detect whether or not a student is utilizing it. One example The Hill used began with a prompt for ChatGPT to define an apple.
The first response explained that an apple was a fruit that grows on a tree and is part of the rose family. ChatGPT added the fruit can come in various colors and has a round shape. When asked again what an apple was, ChatGPT provided an entirely different answer. The second time around the technology described it as a pomaceous fruit, explaining what that meant and mentioning that it’s grown through selective breeding.
The unique responses make it hard for a teacher to determine if a student is using ChatGPT to write their answers. A spokesperson for the New York City Department of Education, Jenna Lyle, noted that while the technology may be easy to use and provide quick answers, it takes away the opportunity for students to build skills, such as problem solving or critical thinking, that are necessary for a successful life. For that reason, Seattle’s school system joined NYC’s in banning ChatGPT’s use on their devices.
Unfortunately, even if all educators decided to ban the AI, it would only prevent students who don’t have access to it outside of school. In today’s world, many kids have personal devices at home that they can still use ChatGPT on, easily skirting any ban on the technology.
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