Youngkin on ChatGPT: “More school districts should ban it”

Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin spoke out against ChatGPT in schools during a CNN town hall Thursday night.

ChatGPT, the new AI technology that caused panic among educators over concerns about cheating and student learning, has been banned in numerous districts across the country, including Virginia.

CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Youngkin if he thinks more schools in Virginia should ban the technology during the event, dubbed “The War Over Education.”

“Yes, I think they should. And I think we should be clear about what our goal as a nation is, which is to make sure our children can think, and that’s why we’re failing our goal when a machine thinks for them,” the Republican governor replied. “And yes, I think you have to be very careful, and I think more counties, more school counties should ban it.”

Controversy over ChatGPT has grown as some educators have already had to change how their lesson plans work due to the technology, after concerns were raised that students might try to cheat with it.

Others have argued that since AI is the future for students, the technology needs to be embraced and worked with.

Youngkin spent more than an hour answering questions from tappers, parents, educators and students about education, a topic the governor has made one of his top priorities. He answered a variety of questions ranging from critical race theory, his stance on transgender students, school safety and others.

Tapper also asked Youngkin about his recent order for the state’s Department of Education to review the AP’s African American course, which made headlines after Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) banned the course from Florida.

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Youngkin says he has no “specific concerns” about the course but wanted to make sure the class met the guidelines of his executive order, which bans “inherently divisive concepts” from classrooms.

The College Board eventually made changes to the AP’s African-American course, eliminating some of the issues DeSantis raised — though the company says the changes were in the works well before the governor’s public complaints.

“I have no reason to believe it will not be a good course for Virginia given the changes I know have been made to this course, but I must let our Department of Education do its job as we do asked to do and I look forward to getting the report back,” Youngkin said.

Both DeSantis and Youngkin have been rumored to be potential Republican candidates for 2024, but neither has given a straight answer as to whether or not they will run.

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Youngkin continued to dodge the 2024 question at City Hall, speaking about how grateful he was to get the role of governor in Virginia, a state that limits governors to one consecutive term at a time.

“You sure didn’t roll it out?” Tapper hugged Youngkin after he dodged and said if he would run for president.

“Well, I have to say I’m not writing a book, right,” the governor replied.

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