The use of ChatGPT in schools



The use of ChatGPT in classrooms has had both positive and negative consequences

Nolan Abitabilo, Herald Reporter

More recently, I have heard of the use of AI-aided programs such as ChatGPT used to write certain amounts of text both within the workplace, school and in general for extra help. While this program is useful in many ways, there will always be downsides to its use.

Focusing on the positives, ChatGPT could help create new computer and tech jobs, improve customer service and is genuinely helpful for creating new ideas that may not have been thought of originally. On the other hand, ChatGPT lacks emotion and originality, can be factually incorrect, especially on recent events, lacks morality and takes away jobs that have to do with writing.

ChatGPT is an Artificial Intelligence (AI) chatbot developed by OpenAI and officially launched in November of 2022. This AI can assist with writing tasks by suggesting ideas on a wide array of topics; for a blog post about healthy eating habits or generating an outline for a research paper. Whatever your niche, it knows it. One of the main problems that I have become more aware of, especially on campus, is the use of ChatGPT to write essays in the classroom setting. This both affects the students and the professors. When you have a program that can pull out information from books, news articles, scientific journals, and most importantly Wikipedia, it is hard for students to learn about a given topic and it is generally simply overlooked by professors.

In a sense, ChatGPT may help teachers plan lessons and grade papers, but it can also help students cheat and introduce challenges like plagiarism which may lead to a ban of the program entirely. But as I said, there are always two sides. What I have learned from talking to some professors at RWU is that it is really a helpful tool and can be used to complete difficult tasks, make schedules and timelines, and hold “human-like” conversations, but its power can be easily abused.

As a part of the student body, I wanted to see what the viewpoints of other students were, as it is something that is more known in the younger generations. After asking 38 RWU students, the results showed that 21 of them thought that ChatGPT is a positive tool whereas 17 of them thought that it was a negative tool. On the positive side of the study, I had feedback that the program was “something that is always learning based off of other searches so it is nice to get a human-like answer with extensive feedback” and “it is simpler to use a search engine that gives you a direct answer to your question, and not a bunch of related topics that may or may not help.”

On the negative side though, I got feedback that the program was “copying well-known search engines like Chrome and Google” and that “the use of AI is going to both takeaway jobs and create ones. ChatGPT is one of the upcoming AIs that works like the human brain and will create new ideas that were never thought about before.”

Personally, I would say that ChatGPT is helpful when it is used outside of the classroom setting, but when it is used for school, it takes away the creative side of thinking and writing. Don’t get me wrong though, this AI is truly amazing in the sense that it can think around problems and give a well-thought-out, clear solution like a human on a variety of different topics, not just writing. As I stated previously, this software was officially launched in the late months of 2022. This means that since it is such a new operating system, there will be many flaws that will need to be revised repeatedly until everything runs smoothly. With each new update and improvement, it may cause more and more diversity of opinion and uproar, with no clear sense of what new uses can be discovered. In a constantly changing world, this adds to one of the many things that are pushing humankind toward the future in both positive and negative ways, as you can see.