ChatGPT poses a threat to education

AI chatbot sparks concern in schools


Sarah Peterson

In schools everywhere, it feels as though a robot has become increasingly present in students’ and teachers’ lives. The robot in question, ChatGPT, is an artificial intelligence chatbot that can write college-level essays within seconds. Its creation has already begun to affect our education system greatly and will continue to for years — and possibly generations — to come. 

ChatGPT seems freakish, like a futuristic science-fiction movie. After all, the AI can come up with an essay on any topic in seconds. It almost feels illegal that a computer can now instantly do something that once took hours — or even days — to complete. Is this necessarily wrong, though? ChatGPT may be the future, so why not embrace it now? Some believe that it will reshape the way we think about education and work, while others believe ChatGPT will cause the loss of all originality and creativity within people. 

Personally, I believe that ChatGPT will do more bad than good. We have already seen its effects in school, with teachers starting to discover more and more of their students have been cheating on discussion posts, presentations, essays and even finals by using ChatGPT. One teacher at a university in Australia found that one-fifth of her students had been using ChatGPT in their past exams. This is no different at Park, bringing worries over academic dishonesty among staff and parents. 

Not only does it cause more cheating in schools, but it also brings concerns over becoming a major privacy problem in the future. If it were ever to gain full access to the internet, it would be able to pull from anywhere and disseminate that information into its works. This means that it could soon be spreading misinformation as well because ChatGPT can’t always detect false information on the internet. 

There are a few ways to minimize the issue of ChatGPT in schools. First, teachers can decrease the amount of online work they assign, and opt for more in-class writing or oral speeches instead. Teachers can also start to use GPT detectors, like the one — a website designed to detect plagiarism in assignments — has created. These GPT detectors use highly advanced technology to be able to detect the AI in works. Maybe if ChatGPT isn’t able to be used unnoticed, it will begin to be used more responsibly and productively. 

Although it feels out of this world, ChatGPT does pose some important questions about how our education system will look in the future. What if the things we value as important skills now aren’t in the coming years? If the things we value in schools are individuality and imagination, we should steer clear of ChatGPT. Although students should always be inspired to use the resources at their fingertips, they should be using them as a way to inspire their creativity, not inhibit it. 

ChatGPT isn’t a bad thing at all. It’s an incredible creation that can do a lot of good. When it comes to education, though, I think that it should be kept out of schools. It’s a fundamental part of learning that students can use their minds and personal experiences to formulate their own thoughts and learn how to put them into words. ChatGPT can never do that — it can only chew up information and spit it out in a different order. There’s nothing wrong with using it every once in a while. But, if we ever get to a point in our world where we depend on ChatGPT, we’ll be no better than a world where robots control humans.