Ban Chat GPT in Schools

By Dana Hathaway

Editorial Editor

Since its initial launch on Nov. 30, 2022, Open AI’s ChatGPT consistently appears in the headlines for its seemingly unlimited uses — writing, coding, eerily human-like conversations, and more. Over a million people already use the technology, and experts hail the AI chatbot as groundbreaking. However, the tool may diminish the value in learning, and if schools do not ban the technology, critical thinking will be eliminated.

Let’s take the example that Fugit gives in his article – a “To Kill a Mockingbird” essay for English class. First off, students asking ChatGPT for a five paragraph essay, or even a thesis statement, ruins the intention of the essay, which is to analyze the book. To show understanding of themes or literary devices a student must write a unique thesis. Merely searching for quotes to fit a thesis does not replace the critical thinking and interpretation skills that creating a thesis demands. More than that, an opinion essay allows students to learn how to develop an argument that they believe in. By providing the opportunity to ask AI for a thesis, students will slowly lose their ability to develop a proper argument, something that is necessary to succeed in most fields. The same is true for a history assignment, as learning to read primary source documents for audience, bias, tone, and other influences is an essential skill; using AI-generated summary deters students from improving these techniques on their own. 

The largest loophole in the “To Kill a Mockingbird” argument is that any student could simply add the words “with quotes” to their request for an essay. Furthermore, one could say “with six quotes” or “with a counter argument.” AI is not merely a jumping off point when technology can answer almost any prompt. In addition, asking the chatbot to “review” or “grade” your essay is just as easy as asking ChatGPT to “improve” said essay, taking away the learning process of editing, which teaches students  to read using a critical lens and pushes for improvement in writing. 

The issues above apply to any slightly creative subject, not just English. If we allow AI like ChatGPT into schools, critical thinking and problem solving will soon be a thing of the past. Independence and creativity will dissolve if AI generates “opinions” in replace of in-depth thought. The majority of the next generation will be a shell of the AI that they use. We must stop AI use in schools now, thus forcing students to retain the essential skills of critical reading and writing, and allow individuals to form and hold their own opinions.

Categories: Opinion

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