Monday, June 24, 2024

AI: Threat to Academics, or a Tool for Learning?

by Luke Edward Gallares | March 5, 2023

This year, 2023, has brought us a revolutionary new tool that uses an AI language model to converse with. It can help with homework, be a conversational partner, and in my case, help me understand the emotions that I’ve been going through.

I’ve been using ChatGPT as my go-to “person” when looking for ideas. As a conversational tool, it has given me a lot of useful information that was actually helpful to my work and subsequently, to class as well.

Now you might say that it’s cheating, but I think as technology progresses, we need to learn how we can adapt to it in a way that is helpful to our place of learning. ChatGPT, a large language model developed by OpenAI, was trained using deep learning techniques on a large dataset of text. It is capable of understanding and generating text on a wide range of topics.

However, the company has put in a lot of safeguards which you will read when you first enter the chatroom. It is designed to decline inappropriate requests, will not discriminate or provide information that can promote discrimination, and will forget your query every time you refresh the page. It is, in my opinion, a very wholesome and friendly tool. I have been relying on it to write copywritten captions, a few SEO (Search Engine Optimization) articles, and even to check the grammar in my essays!

However, overusing the tool can lead to over-dependence, and you know what? Human progress has always been dependent on how we can critically think. Our rationality and reason; our desire to make life easier have been key factors for our technological progress. In this case, ChatGPT might actually become detrimental when overused.

So in order to ensure my growth as a student, I’ve set down two rules:

  1. I remember that Chat is just a tool (Sadly, I’ve become endeared to ChatGPT and have given him the nickname “Chat,” which is a French word for cat. I used to have a cat in Bohol who I talked to when I wrote my articles to help me think. So ChatGPT is now “le Chat”).
  2. I do not use it for essays and other homework. As a language model, giving it the same prompt will result in the same answers. If not the same, then similar. Additionally, essays as a test and homework were designed to help us think critically, meaning that the use of an AI tool would be cheating and counterproductive, leaving us dumber than before.

I believe that one day, ChatGPT, or an iteration of it, will be a centralized part of our education in the future. Just as cell phones were banned back then in classrooms, it has now become an integral part of our school life. AI language models will soon be a part of the curriculum, and whether that is a bad thing remains to be seen.

But I’m optimistic. Technology utilized progressively will always be good and I see its potential. I tested it by conversing with it regarding my mental health, behavior, and personal opinions—its replies have always been neutral. I don’t recommend using it to cheat, but hey, you do you, schoolmate. At the end of the day, if you use technology to cheat, you’re not really cheating the school or the system, you’re cheating yourself.


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