Since its arrival, ChatGPT has generated a revolution in different areas, including education. In early 2023, New York schools decided to ban it, in the face of indiscriminate use by students for homework and exams. However, a few days ago, the news of the lifting of the ban was announced, even qualifying the tool as elementary.
This resounding change is an example of what artificial intelligence tools generate. Many see ChatGPT and others like it as major threats to children’s learning, while others see it as a great opportunity to implement new ways of teaching.
On the other hand, banning ChatGPT completely is a complicated decision since it can be accessed from any device. While access can be blocked from educational institutions’ networks and computers, students can log in from their smartphones.
What was the reason for the initial ban in New York?
The New York Public School Board found ChatGPT to be a tool that does not develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. They also considered these to be essential issues for academic success and for life in general.
The main difficulty encountered by the teachers was to detect which text had been made with artificial intelligence, as they are unique and not plagiarized. In addition to this, this tool forced them to be more demanding and original with the tasks and exams, making it difficult for ChatGPT to solve them easily.
However, despite all arguments to the contrary, the ban was lifted in May. As reported by David Banks, New York’s school chancellor, they now see the artificial intelligence tool as an opportunity. The ban was carried forward because they considered only the misuse and not the potential that ChatGPT has. The Chancellor also added that they are talking to representatives of the technology industry to take advantage of the opportunities offered by this tool for the education sector.
What is the future of ChatGPT in the education sector?
The decision made by the New York district is a very important battle won for ChatGPT, as it is the largest school system in the country. This is a favorable precedent, although it remains to be seen what decision will be made in other districts.
According to Sam Altman, artificial intelligence tools will revolutionize education, although they will not supplant the current learning process. He also added something that seems to be a fact, that the way of teaching and evaluation will have to change to adapt to these new tools. In fact, there are educators who are looking for alternatives to incorporate ChatGPT into their teaching method.
Altman acknowledged that the tools currently known are still very primitive compared to those that will be available in a couple of years. He also insisted on the need for regulation of these technologies by political leaders.