We’re sure many of us are familiar with this new technology since its birth in late 2022. We have also personally tried it out! So let’s just cut to the chase, shall we? ChatGPT has stirred up a lot of heated debates and discussions on social media. Many others voiced their personal opinions on this AI technology. Today we will be discussing the positive and negative impacts of ChatGPT on students and how schools can embrace it. Or if they should?
But before that, just a quick summary on ChatGPT.
What is ChatGPT?
ChatGPT is another product derived from artificial intelligence or in other words, simulation of human intelligence. To put it simply, this technology (as well as many others like it) is what is often called a “language machine” that uses statistics and reinforcement learning to index words, phrases, and sentences.
What is it used for?
ChatGPT is a language model—a way for machines to understand human language. It was “trained” by an enormous amount of public online text, originally published by humans, of course. That model can then be used to generate “new” content that seems like it was written by a real person. But is it, now?
Should we embrace ChatGPT?
Since ChatGPT is currently available for everyone on the internet, it begs the question of whether this intelligent technology will bring a positive or negative impact on students all over the world.
We just can’t help but think, since robots can do it for you, why bother learning how to write? Teaching students how to write will be pointless, right? Hold that thought.
Writing will always be important and continue to be relevant for a long, long time. Even before writing technologies like ChatGPT made their debut, people were already copying and pasting. Albeit unethical without proper citations, it has been going on for ages, and that is why software like Turnitin has been around since the 90s.
So instead of focusing on things we cannot control, like prohibiting the usage of these writing technologies, let’s shift the focus a little and see how we can all utilize these tools to our advantage.
Is there a way to stop students from using ChatGPT?
There are some positive’s into allowing students to use ChatGPT and how it can help to improve the learning process. Technology is making things easier, so teachers can empower students to use these AI techs to their advantage.
However, if schools choose to prohibit the usage of these writing technologies, that is up to them. It may be hard to completely stop a student from using it. However, there are numerous AI Content Detection Tools teachers can use. Just to ensure they aren’t using it. For instance, Originality.ai can check an article for plagiarism. It can also determine whether it’s written by a human writer or an artificial intelligence(AI) writer by analyzing the structure of the sentences and the language used.
What are the positive impacts of using ChatGPT on students?
Artificial intelligence tools can shift the direction of the current syllabus of mastering formulas and formats to focusing more on personal narratives. This includes argumentative writing, critical thinking, and research skills. This will allow students to utilize these readily available digital tools to aid their learning. It can also become an opportunity for students to sharpen their digital literacy in today’s online world.
Students will be able to gather information and ideas to creatively participate in group work, discussions, or for doing research. Students can use ChatGPT to help them organize ideas creatively, instead of relying on it just to complete their assignments.
Now that we have covered the positive impacts of ChatGPT, let’s look at its negative effects.
ChatGPT has its drawbacks too
First of all, although access to ChatGPT is currently free, it won’t be for long. The services will cost money and no longer be accessible to everyone. It is also important to note that the answers provided by this bot are not always correct and accurate. To top that off, ChatGPT does not cite references, which makes it harder for users to cross-check those facts. This means you will still have to take the manual approach of researching. Hence anyone using ChatGPT thinking it is a “shortcut”, might want to think again…
ChatGPT is also currently trained on sources up to 2021 and is not able to answer questions about recent events, articles, or insights. Everything you share with ChatGPT will be stored. Just imagine if you submitted a prompt that could potentially be used in your article or assignment but now will be detected by Turnitin!
One other concern, especially from parents as well, is relying too much on this software. Their child may be able to use ChatGPT for their research and assignments but then they may not enhance their writing skills. When an exam comes up, they mind find it harder to actually write and answer the exams. This can lead to a big and obvious difference between assignments and exams. It is good to use technology but perhaps we shouldn’t fully rely on it.
Will AI writing technologies replace writing?
ChatGPT is a hot potato at the moment. So many concerns. Will AI writing technologies replace writing as a whole? In short, we do not think so. The reason these AI technologies are so smart in the first place is because it was “trained” by all the content put up on the internet by humans. Hence, if humans were to stop writing and rely fully on bots and writing technologies, there would be no improvement or evolution in writing or language. These technologies will come to a halt and fail to serve their “purpose” when there are no longer new content for them to “learn” from. (Pssst, not so intelligent after all.)
In conclusion, it is entirely up to schools to decide whether they want to allow their students to use ChatGPT or prohibit it entirely. Either way, teachers can always utilize AI detection tools to detect plagiarism to ensure originality. It will be also important for schools to discuss the matter with both teachers and parents. To ensure there has been proper though put into the decision. It may also be a great way to educate the parents on this software too.
Every disadvantage has its advantages. We hope the positive and negative impacts of ChatGPT that were discussed have helped shed some light on the matter of the moment. ChatGPT has the potential to be used as a pedagogical tool to enhance learning in the classroom and it is crucial to be aware of how we can understand and possibly embrace it.
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