Cybersecdn- Since ChatGPT, an online chatbot with artificial intelligence, came out, teachers have written about how to use it in their lessons, and some have even started using it in their assignments. Reuters says that ChatGPT became the fastest-growing consumer app in history when it got 100 million users in just two months after it came out in November 2022. Over 1.5 billion people visit the site every month.
James Dorsey, a professor of Asian languages, cultures, and societies, said he is still “confused” about how to use AI in the classroom. According to what he said, AI tools might work better in the sciences than in the arts.
“There are tasks in school that are both product-oriented and process-oriented,” Dorsey said. “I think that in the sciences, it is usually product-oriented.” On the other hand, I believe it’s process-oriented in the arts. “What I want students to do is develop a way of thinking that will help them in other things they do. Writing essays is just a side effect of that.”
However, Dorsey said that he is going to “experiment” with using ChatGPT in his class ASCL 70.25, which is called “Translating East Asian Languages: Theory and Practice.”
Elsa Coulam ’27 said that this is what her first-year seminar class, WRIT 07.42, “The Art of Human Dialogue,” asks her students to do: write while using ChatGPT. Coulam read the article “Ghosts” by Vauhini Vara in class. In it, Vara fed words like “candor,” “apparently,” and “begat candor” to GPT-3, a language prediction model, to get it to write about her sister’s death.
Coulam said that ChatGPT has perks like correcting grammar, but she also said that this can be done with other apps, like Grammarly, which many students already use. In the same way, Mehar Bhasin ’27 said that one of ChatGPT’s other benefits is that it can help explain mathematical steps.
Bhasin said, “For really hard calculations, I think students can focus more on the idea than the calculation part if we can find a way to integrate our learning.” Dorsey also said that ChatGPT could hurt the Academic Honor Principle. Dorsey said, “ChatGPT is the biggest, smartest, most effective plagiarism machine that has ever been made.”
However, Dorsey pointed out that ChatGPT has some flaws, such as not being able to analyze literary works or pick up on subtleties when changing languages. “I don’t think [ChatGPT] is there yet, especially when you’re going from Romance languages or Western languages to East Asian languages,” Dorsey said. Bhasin said that teachers will “notice” if their students use ChatGPT for their work.
For people who are using it for the first time… Bhasin said, “ChatGPT just gives this flowery introduction to the idea; it doesn’t go into the depth.” “But I think it’s easy to hide this quality through STEM…” “I think it’s more likely that AI can solve math problems than write in English.”
Dorsey admitted that he knows he might not be able to tell when students are using ChatGPT in their work. But Dorsey said he is “pretty sure” that one student used ChatGPT for an assignment because “the essay included quotes from the novel that were not quite right.” Additionally, Dorsey said that teachers can explain the rules for using AI in a school setting, but it might not be as clear what is right or wrong when using AI in other situations.
“Away from the school setting…” “I think there will be a change, and everything will be rethought,” Dorsey said. In a nod to philosopher Marshall McLuhan, who came up with the phrase “the medium is the message,” Dorsey said that the way people chat affects them. “What [McLuhan] means by that is that the medium we use shapes and massages us,” Dorsey explained. “It loosens up and calms down skills that we would normally keep sharp and work out.” That is, ChatGPT “will make our brains soft like butter.”
To be a “responsible” ChatGPT user, Coulam said, people shouldn’t claim other people’s work as their own. Coulam told them, “If you do use it, make sure you cite it and/or get permission from your teacher.” Dorsey said that students shouldn’t look for “shortcuts” to get good grades, but should instead put their education first. “For students and faculty, we need to have a more open conversation about ChatGPT,” Bhasin said. “It can’t just be written on a piece of paper that ChatGPT is out.” “I believe this subject should be talked about more.”