(VitalNews.org) – From reluctance to acceptance, schools initially began looking at artificial intelligence (AI) systems with great concern but are now changing their approach. Many districts are looking to integrate AI into their lessons in a way that can contribute to rather than hinder classroom operations.
Last November, ChatGPT came out. The chatbot can solve equations, write papers, translate languages, and answer questions, and it upended the education system right away as students from younger grades up to college began to experiment with using chatbots to assist with homework and assignments. The initial response was to ban the use of AI, but now.
The main reason for such a shift is that administrators are realizing the cat is already out of the bag and feel it would be smarter to try and harness the utility of AI in an educational setting, adapting to the evolving technology, rather than trying to shield students from it. One survey found that 61% of teachers think there will be “legitimate educational uses” of ChatGPT that cannot be ignored.
One principal, Kip Glazer of Silicon Valley’s Mountain View High School, compared the attempt to insulate students from AI systems to trying to ban TikTok. Glazer says it’s “not working” and only makes the adults look “silly” and “foolish” for trying.
But it’s not like the initial reluctance is without reason or the concerns about AI unfounded. Earlier this year, an open letter was published by the Future of Life Institute and signed by over 1,000 scientists, entrepreneurs, and tech leaders, including Elon Musk and Steve Wozniak.
The letter urged AI developers to put a pause on researching and developing such systems until proper guidelines, protocols, and protections can be developed and put in place. They raise concerns about AI having the potential to destabilize our society by eliminating certain jobs, being used to spread misinformation, influencing politics, and more.
Although these concerns seem much larger than kids using AI to cheat on tests and homework, those are just some of the immediate problems school districts have to contend with. This is why more states and school leaders are figuring out rules of acceptable use and looking for educational benefits as Washington also discusses national regulations for AI in grades K-12.
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