When ChatGPT enters the classroom, professors assess threats and opportunities

On November 30, 2022, ChatGPT, the latest artificial intelligence technology specializing in creating human-like conversations, was launched and sparked interest among students and faculty at Baldwin Wallace University.

Reportedly, since its release, ChatGPT has been used for writing papers, programming, solving math problems, conducting research, and more for students.

Brian Krupp, associate professor of computer science, said faculty should focus on asking questions that ChatGPT can’t answer accurately while students are using the tool.

“I think as educators we can’t just put a block and say you [students] can’t use that. I think there will always be a way around the system,” Krupp said. “So what we [faculty] We need to think about what types of questions we can ask and how we can evaluate our students if GPT couldn’t provide an answer.”

The use of Internet technologies and software by students is not new to education. GPT-3, a less advanced version of ChatGPT, was introduced in 2020. A course on AI ethics was held in the fall semester of 2022, allowing students to learn and experiment with the new technology.

AI technology like ChatGPT uses the internet to combine, sort, and then produce results that match most of the content you already have. Krupp said the AI ​​takes an average of the information out there. If the information is bad, the information provided by the AI ​​will also produce similar results.

“Answers are only as good as the information they are fed with,” Krupp said. “So if it’s bad information, it’s not accurate and will produce inaccurate results,” Krupp said.

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Krupp said his main concern with AI is how it will replace human creativity.

“Some people compare that to a calculator or things that could have solved a problem,” Krupp said. “But if you ask how you solve it or what the steps are to solve this problem, then I think it starts to replace that creative human process. I think it’s different there.”

Les Hunter, chair of the English and creative writing department, also said he has concerns about AI as some students have reportedly plagiarized papers on ChatGPT. However, Hunter also said that using AI in the classroom has its benefits and shouldn’t be overlooked.

“I think as educators, we also need to look at ways that ChatGPT and other AI technologies can be used to our advantage to help students innovate, be creative, and think critically,” Hunter said. “I think the tool could be useful, for example, when brainstorming possible ideas for a presentation or a group project. Or it could be used to generate opposing ideas to an opinion you’re forming, allowing you to better question your own thoughts.

“We have wonderful, creative students and professors here who I think will be able to reap the benefits of this new technology while perhaps mitigating some of the harmful effects.”