Avoiding AI in the classroom is a mistake


Timmy Parsons photographed by Isabella Kneeshaw.

Timmy Parsons, Staff Writer

Will robots dictate the way that students learn? Will artists lose their creative platform when a website can generate any image within mere seconds? Will people lose their jobs to automated machine-learning programs? Most importantly, will life improve, or will artificial intelligence (AI) control our lives for the worse? These are all important questions to consider as humankind advances rapidly technologically with the development of AI. 

AI is intelligence demonstrated by machines that consume, perceive, infer and then respond to external stimuli. AI is often used to perform simple tasks, such as speech recognition or generation, language translation and internet searching. In addition, AI has been used for more complex tasks, such as driving cars, managing warehouse inventory or mimicking human-like text. This is where AI becomes problematic: if it can perform human tasks, what’s stopping it from taking human jobs and creating a world where society lazily relies on AI-driven labor, which often lacks creativity? 

While the future possibilities of AI are uncertain, there are several barriers preventing society from descending to a dystopian-like future where robots control the lives of man. Firstly, there remain the technological limitations. Despite previous predictions, cars are still human-driven and, for the most part, AI cannot make decisions for itself without human direction or input. Secondly, most Americans – more than 80 percent – say that AI should be carefully managed. After all, it’s unlikely that anyone would ever feel safe with an automated robot flying a plane. Lastly, no one wants to see artificial intelligence replace the jobs of hard working citizens. 

With these barriers in mind, I have come to the conclusion that AI should be used in conjunction with human ingenuity, and not as a replacement for it. As teachers grapple with ways to combat recently-released human text generation website ChatGPT, it’s important that we learn to use AI as a facilitator of learning and not fear the changes that it may bring. 

Students, next time you’re writing that dreaded paper, instead of commanding ChatGPT “Write me an essay,” ask ChatGPT, “Find me research points or arguments that can support my essay topic.” This vital change in wording will not only prevent plagiarism and cheating, but facilitate learning in a way that is ethical and retains creative thinking in your paper.   

Even though AI as an idea has been around for almost 70 years, its advancements within the last 15 have been pivotal in changing life as it once was. AI is all around us. In fact, most of us use some form of artificial intelligence every day. Think Google Search Engine, Siri, Alexa, Apple/Google Maps: AI is just a click away, and its existence has diversified our lives in more ways than one might think. 

While the ethical considerations of AI remain, the possibilities of the usage of AI are endless, unlimited even. However, a balance must be found between artificial and natural intelligence, as the job security and ingenuity of the future remains unclear. It is undeniable that artificial intelligence can be used to assist us in many ways, but nothing, in my opinion, can ever outperform the beauty of human dedication, intelligence, hard work and creativity.