New AI text-generation capabilities affect Woodside classes

Increasingly-advanced artificial intelligence is changing the relationship between teachers, students, and education

We+asked+DALL-E%2C+an+AI+image+generator%2C+to+create+an+impressionist+painting+representing+the+dangers+of+AI+on+education.

We asked DALL-E, an AI image generator, to create “an impressionist painting representing the dangers of AI on education.”

Patrick Van Hoven, Politics Editor

The recent release of an Artificial Intelligence (AI) text generator, ChatGPT, has led to plagiarism and cheating, which is forcing educators to reevaluate the way they teach.

ChatGPT was released in November and is an advanced “large language model” capable of writing short responses, poems, or even full essays in response to detailed prompts. Within a week of launching, ChatGPT had over a million users and continues to experience high traffic. Due to the fact that ChatGPT can reliably write essays on pretty much any topic, it is already being used by students to cheat and plagiarize.  

“The more shortcuts there are the greater opportunity [there is] to cut corners,” Advanced Placement (AP)  English Literature teacher Lisa Camera said. “I think it really diminishes the opportunity that students have. You’re not going to improve on your writing unless you really go through the process of writing.”

With the advancement of technology, the ways people write and consume information has changed over time. Currently, new technology has made it easier and easier to delegate academic tasks, like writing, to computers.

“When I was going to school, there was no internet, so if you wanted to plagiarize, you had to read the books,” Camera said. “You had to know what the author was saying, and really process it to steal it. Now, you’re just cutting and pasting, and so you’re not even enlightening yourself. You’re not even expanding your knowledge.” 

Due to the threat of AI to academic integrity, software is being developed to detect AI-written writing. One such program, GPTZero, is already being used in schools across the country. 

“There’s already technology in place to catch this,” Camera said. “In fact, I was doing some professional development about this last week.”

While it may prove to be slightly inefficient, there are ways to prevent the use of AI when students are writing essays. 

“Much more writing in class,” Camera stated. “When they’re writing in class, if they’re writing on the computer, we do it in AP Classroom where they have a lockdown browser… [b]ut it means that we’re losing class time to do that. So there is a compromise there. There is a sacrifice.” 

However, the effects of AI on the classroom are not all negative. Woodside computer science teacher Eric Ettlin plans to incorporate AI art generation software into his Advanced Animation course. 

“We are thinking about doing a game this year where we’re using computer-generated art,” Ettlin said. 

Despite AI’s downsides, teachers and students are going to have to learn to adapt to this new technology.

“It would be really good for students to… understand the basics of what artificial intelligence is about,” Ettlin said. “It’s going to be a part of [student’s] future[s] much, much more than [mine]… In the next several decades, it’s going to have a much, much greater impact on [student’s lives].”

It is possible that AI will eliminate certain human activities, especially activities that are repetitive and require little-to-no skill. 

“I think it was Stephen Hawking who felt like the biggest threat to humanity was artificial intelligence,” Ettlin said. “As AI advances, [it will] take away jobs from people more and more.”

In many cases, AI will be financially advantageous over human workers.

“To really write and do well and to organize something, it takes a long time, right?” Camera said. “So the cost analysis is probably going to say [that] in many industries it’ll be easier to use AI. That will affect people professionally.”

Student Simon Campbell worries about AI replacing human activities. As an aspiring writer, Campbell feels threatened by the instantaneous writing capabilities of ChatGPT.

“[AI] could… take away the positions that I as an author would be doing, [such as] writing, because companies can use it to substitute the need for human writers,” Campbell said.

AI could also have worrying effects on intellectual and creative property. 

“I’m worried about what it means for creative licensing, and also for jobs specific to writers and artists,” Campbell said. “If [AI] is collecting a bunch of art references, what does that mean for artists’ rights and protections for their original pieces?”

Fundamentally, the effects of AI are not completely known yet. It is likely that while there will be positive benefits of AI, negative ramifications will force educators, and the world, to rethink many aspects of work, education, and art.

“When something is new and sophisticated, it’s intimidating,” Camera said. “We have to get to a comfort level where we can figure out how to use it… The more I can get familiar with it, the less intimidated I am by it. I think we have to be willing to adapt to the change and adapt to the times and make it work.”

AI Weighs In

We asked AI questions regarding its effect on education, culture, and its own limitations. Here’s what it said:

Question: How does AI put writing education in jeopardy? What are the societal ramifications of AI being used on a large scale to cheat?

AI can put writing education in jeopardy by making it easier for students to cheat on written assignments. For example, AI-powered writing software can generate written content that is similar to that produced by humans, making it difficult to distinguish between original work and plagiarized content. This can undermine the integrity of the educational system and devalue the efforts of honest students.

The societal ramifications of AI being used on a large scale to cheat include the erosion of trust in educational institutions and the devaluation of education as a whole. It can also lead to a lack of accountability for one’s own learning and growth, which can have negative impacts on the individual and society as a whole. Additionally, it can lead to a lack of job opportunities in writing and editing as AI technology advances, as well as the spread of misinformation as AI generated text can be used to create fake news and other types of disinformation.

Question: Does AI have the ability to come up with original ideas, or can it only synthesize existing ideas?

AI has the ability to generate original ideas, but it is limited by the data and algorithms that it is trained on. Machine learning algorithms such as neural networks can generate new ideas by recognizing patterns and relationships in data and making predictions or generating new content based on that information. However, the originality of these ideas is limited by the data that the AI is exposed to during training.

Currently, AI is not capable of truly independent and creative thinking like humans do, and it is not able to create new ideas that are completely unprecedented. It can however, be used as a tool to help humans come up with new ideas by analyzing data and providing insights that a human may not have considered.

It’s worth noting that, AI is advancing rapidly, and new research and development in areas such as GPT-3, which based on the language model, have shown AI’s ability to generate more human-like, creative and original text. However, it’s still far from the level of human creativity and originality, and the generated content are still heavily influenced by the data that it was trained on.

Question: Is Art made by an AI actually art? Or does art have to be made by humans? What are the dangers of AI art? Does AI art devalue the practice of art as a whole?

Whether art made by AI can be considered “actual art” is a matter of debate and can depend on one’s personal definition of art. Some argue that art must be created by humans in order to be considered true art, while others argue that the process of creating art is more important than the creator.

Art created by AI can be seen as a form of collaboration between humans and machines, where the AI is used as a tool to generate new and unique content. In this sense, the art created by AI can be considered a valid form of expression. However, it’s important to note that the quality and originality of AI-generated art will depend on the data and algorithms that the AI is trained on.

The dangers of AI art include the possibility of the AI being used to create art that is intended to deceive or manipulate the viewer. Additionally, the use of AI in art can lead to the loss of jobs for human artists, and it can also lead to a devaluation of art as a whole if it is seen as a product that can be easily replicated by machines.

In summary, whether art made by AI is considered as “actual art” or not, it is a form of collaboration between humans and machines, and it can be a valid form of expression. However, the quality and originality of AI-generated art will depend on the data and algorithms that the AI is trained on. Additionally, the use of AI in art needs to be approached with caution to avoid potential negative impacts on the art industry, and society as a whole.

Question: Write a sentence ending with the word “chair.”

I sat in the comfortable chair and relaxed.