Artificial intelligence: A double edged sword for students and teachers


Jake Wilsted

The advancement of artificial intelligence serves as both a benefit and a drawback for students and teachers alike.

Jake Wilsted, Business Manager

Artificial intelligence (AI) has made great strides in recent years. Mainly tasked with making life simpler, artificial intelligence has ranged from mapping technology to handwriting recognition. As time progresses, AI becomes more accessible to humans and more prevalent in our lives. 

Recently, a company named OpenAI released an artificial intelligence chatbot named ChatGPT. Currently, the use of AI is free and open-source for its users. ChatGPT can, in simple terms, be described as “conversing with Google.” The AI is capable of writing code and essays and completing math problems. These unique capabilities raise concerning questions for teachers of high schools and colleges alike. 

As ChatGPT continues to learn and its user base expands, cheating and academic misconduct can result on the platform. Students can give the chatbot a prompt, and ChatGPT can write an essay based on the prompt—plagiarism free. 

However, students should not get too excited. While ChatGPT can produce plagiarism-free writing, the use of the program can be detected through artificial intelligence detectors. These artificial intelligence detectors will examine writing, search for patterns known to AI writing, and estimate (not consistently accurate) how much of the content was human-produced. 

 Teachers are already adjusting their curriculum and testing structures to accommodate this issue. PV English teacher Lynne Lundberg decided that her students’ finals must be handwritten this year as opposed to previous years.

“Bots can be programmed to make mistakes, and all kinds of things can be done to avoid detection. The point of a test essay is not to generate new content; students in my class, as bright and motivated as they are, are not at a level where they are generating new content. The point of a test essay is to determine if students have integrated knowledge. The use of bots does not achieve the goal of a test essay assignment,” Lundberg stated.

 While some teachers adjust their schedules for fear of academic misconduct that ChatGPT enables, there is a bright side. In PVHS math and science courses, grades are largely determined by assessments—meaning take-home work is generally for completion grades. Therefore, cheating through this program is not possible for math assessments. 

Nonetheless, ChatGPT can be used as a way for students to receive individualized attention in completing math assignments or problems that may be confusing. 

Senior student Misty Marahatta, familiar with the platform, stated, “I think it is helpful for students because it gives in-depth, step-by-step directions. You can ask questions about any step you may be unsure about to learn the material.”

Artificial intelligence is evolving and learning. Could AI eventually become undetectable? If so, will our education system have to fundamentally change if AI can complete tasks humans otherwise would? These questions will need to be answered sooner than we may realize.