Artificial intelligence: The way students complete assignments could change with new software that can do their work for them | News | San Luis Obispo

“This is a huge wave coming to the school.”

That’s how Paso Robles High School English teacher Aaron Cantrell describes ChatGPT—the new spy software that’s been talked about in classrooms across the country. The software has opened up conversations among teachers at Paso High since it was introduced on Nov. 30, 2022. Created by San Francisco-based company OpenAI, ChatGPT has the ability to generate human-like written responses to any question or request posed by a user.

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HELP ME Artificial intelligence software like ChatGPT can write essays, answer questions, and more for students.  - COVER PHOTO FROM ADOBE STOCK

  • Cover image from Adobe Stock
  • HELP ME Artificial intelligence software like ChatGPT can write essays, answer questions, and more for students.

When Cantrell first tested ChatGPT, he said he realized it was “a force to be reckoned with.”

“I asked it to write all the essays I gave to my students this year,” he said. “Part of them did pretty well in 15 seconds each. I said, ‘Wow, we’re going to have to have a conversation about this, because it’s changed quite a bit.’

The way it works is simple—ask ChatGPT to write anything, like an essay, article, or cover letter. Within 15 seconds, ChatGPT delivers, making it easy for readers to cheat. A study by revealed that 89 percent of survey respondents said they used the platform to help with homework.

Paso High School Principal Cosmo Toohey-Bergvall explained that ChatGPT is blocked from the school’s Wi-Fi and students’ Google accounts, making it difficult for students to use the software on school-issued Chromebooks even when they are not at school.

Toohey-Bergvall said the software lacked a “personal touch” when it came to news but noted it could be good for “busy work”.

“[It’s] a very useful tool that can create a large amount of text, push people in a certain direction, inspire them, or just serve as a basis for your writing, rather than something that can create anything you need to scratch in a few words and information,” said Toohey-Bergvall. “It needs to be cared for and cared for properly. ”

Cantrell said there could be a way to use AI software to help real-time learning.

“What can we do to maybe use some AI functions to do research?” Cantrell said. “I don’t think there’s any good in going through a card catalog, or a search engine, and finding things and putting them in order. Maybe that part of it we can outsource to machines. But the collection of all these ideas and the drive for some kind of argument can be maintained by humans.”

Ryan Jenkins, an associate professor of philosophy at Cal Poly, said any integration of chatbots into education should be handled with care.

“I think that has significant potential to destroy some of the values ​​of passing a college class. For example, if you get to the point—so, at the end of the spectrum—where an AI writes your essays for you, it’s obviously no different to me than if one of your classmates gave you an essay,” said Jenkins. “That is, none of this challenges students to think about their beliefs in order to use a different puzzle.”

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NEXT GEN New artificial intelligence software could change the future of education, sparking a debate about academic dishonesty.  - FILE PHOTO BY JAYSON MELLOM

  • File Photo By Jayson Mellom
  • NEXT GEN New artificial intelligence software could change the future of education, sparking a debate about academic dishonesty.

Not many plagiarism software are equipped to deal with AI written essays. By far, the most popular detection software is called GPTZero, which was invented by 22-year-old Princeton student Edward Tian.

Since the technology is so new, teachers and administrators at Cal Poly are divided on how to approach the use of ChatGPT.

“I think you’re seeing a range of all kinds of responses from this Chicken Little ‘sky is falling’ kind of people who openly embrace it,” Jenkins said. “In the middle, I think you have a lot of people who say, ‘Look, we can’t fight this. You know, we can’t stop students. [from] we remember that this technology exists.”

While there was no official directive from Cal Poly administrators about what to do with ChatGPT, Jenkins said there was a lot of “hand-wringing” in departments.

However, Cal Poly computer science professor Franz Kurfess has begun using ChatGPT as a learning tool. In his Computer Support for Information Management class, Kurfess encourages his students to compare their proposal with the version generated by ChatGPT.

“A few students have already tried it, and the results were determined to be mixed. So some of them said that they were really impressed because the results that ChatGPT brought were reasonable, not perfect, but the proposal of the students is probably not perfect,” said Kurfess. “Some students said it would not be used. And it is too early to draw conclusions, but what I suspect is that the students who did not get good results have technical subjects.”

Another student testing ChatGPT was fourth-year Computer Engineering major Brett Gowling, who explored the chatbot’s capabilities and shortcomings in a presentation he gave to Kurfess’s class.

“I think the biggest problem you have to avoid with students using this is the direct acceptance of the output of AI as your own. And I think you can use, or should be able to use, maybe a framework or a structure bot. develop,” said Gowling. “But the text should be modified significantly, so that you made your own, or you should be direct quotes, if you are going to remain unchanged, and you need to inform the chatbot.”

In an effort to further the discussion about the implications of ChatGPT in education, Jenkins and colleagues published a report on Jan. 30 regarding practices for using and crediting AI for its contributions to scholarship.

“There have been several papers co-written by ChatGPT and other major language types. So we created some principles about this and how we can think about this from a scholar’s point of view,” said Jenkins. “I think that next we will try to propose some language for the administrators to spread down to the students.”

While it may be too early to predict what the future of education might look like with the introduction of ChatGPT, Jenkins said teaching methods will have to change.

“My concern is that this technology will start at the borders and come in and colonize or take away a lot of the kinds of activities and experiments that we would have in the classroom that we should really challenge people to think about,” Jenkins said. Δ

Reach Staff Writer Shwetha Sundarrajan at [email protected]


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