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How AI is Changing Education

How AI is Changing Education

Science fiction media often depict robots capable of doing homework, school work, and just about everything; this innovation although past seen fiction is now entering reality. Technological advancements have skyrocketed, giving our generation access to advanced forms of artificial intelligence, many of which are capable of doing just that. At the moment, AI websites such as OpenAI  are currently banned on Hastings’ school devices. However this new technology still has a presence in many schools, as many students use AI at home or on their personal computers to aid with homework, research for projects, and assist with essay writing. To ensure academic integrity through this predicament AI detection has become a part of many teachers grading processes. However, AI detection software is extremely unreliable, it often makes errors and fails to detect AI written work.  In 2023, OpenAI released their own AI detection software for commercial use but is was so discontinued due to “low accuracy.” If ChatGPT cannot recognize itself in work, at what point is this technology inescapable? 

Generative AI, at its core is what experts call, a “large language model.” To put it simply, when you ask an AI a question, its response is crafted by predicting words most commonly used in the particular setting of inquiry rather then pulling from reputable sources and studies. This statistical approach to writing can lead AI to “hallucinate.” these AI predicted words don’t always lead to a correct answer; AI occasionally makes up false information altogether, this misinformation is labeled an “AI hallucination.” A notable example of an AI hallucination occurred in November of 2023, Google’s AI produced a false claim that the James Webb Space Telescope had captured the world’s first images of a planet outside our solar system this hallucination caused Google stock to plummet as investors lost faith in their technologies capabilities. AI is still a reasonably new technology, thus its software still has a few kinks. It’s essential to cross-reference AI-given information, especially when using it in an educational setting to avoid misinformation from AI hallucinations.

AI already has a formidable presence in education. AI is being used both on the front lines with students and behind the scenes, aiding teachers. Take the AltSchool in San Francisco, California for example, AI based programs have already been implemented to better student learning. “Portrait,” an algorithm which tracks individual students’ progress and tailors their lessons has been an extremely helpful addition to the school. But it is not just at private institutions where AI is being used in schools, it has its local implications as well. A mere train ride away, New York City public schools are implementing YourWai, an AI based teaching assistant designed to accelerate the lesson planning process for teachers. AI has already made its stamp on teachers; in the next few years, we’ll see how it changes the student experience.

A teacher’s job is to  “help the next generation face the reality of the world and develop instruments and ways of navigating this reality with integrity,” according to Harvard professor Houman Harouni. Denial of our fast changing world and AI will not last in schools, so how exactly do we balance academic integrity with technological progress? 


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