Does Chat GPT Belong in Schools?  



Sophia Zeng, Staff Writer

Chat GPT’s recent addition into the laptops of American students has lately come under controversy by teachers and students alike. The program, developed by Open AI, has been used by students to answer simple questions, write simple code, and even generate whole essays with one simple prompt. 

“Chat GPT is not something that students should be utilizing”, said Dalton Wilson, teacher of Computer Math here at HVHS. He first found out about the program through TikTok, where it was directly advertised to a wide demographic of users, not just students. The program, first released in November of 2022, has gained traction among both students and workers.  

Chat GPT uses a transformer algorithm based on a neural network, a type of computer program that is designed to mimic the human brain. The program is first fed a large dataset of text, such as articles or conversations. It then uses this data to learn the patterns and structure of language. It’s also fed data on various topics, like weather and programming. It can then generate its own text based on a given prompt or topic, allowing you to ask it to write an email or tell you the weather.  

“I currently use it for almost everything, ” said Bear Tyree (9), a tech enthusiast and programmer. “[G]oing to google a question takes way longer to find what I need than simply asking Chat GPT. When I can’t think of a way to program something, I find myself coming back to beg Chat GPT for the answers”. Search engines like Google that use web crawlers to find and update pages are in danger of becoming outdated as other browsers are being enhanced with AI. Microsoft Bing’s new AI-enhanced search function rivals Chat GPT, helping people save time by getting the information they need more quickly and accessibly.  

Chat GPT’s text-generation function also gives it the ability to generate full-page essays in seconds from a 1-sentence prompt. By fine-tuning the grammar, writing style, and word choice, the finished work can copy your writing style, making for an extremely convincing product.  

Both Wilson and Tyree agree that using Chat GPT is detrimental to student learning. “Students are making themselves completely dependent on technology.. [and there is] little drive for success because machines can do the work for students”, said Wilson. “[T]he way I see it, the more a student uses Chat GPT, the more likely a student is a liability to themself”. Tyree believes that generating work using Chat GPT hinders student creativity, and learning, underpreparing them for the real world.  

Tyree thinks self-motivation is the key to stopping students from using Chat GPT. “In the same way that students who don’t use translators actually want to learn the language, we should motivate students to learn in English class so that they can actually [learn the information]”. Wilson believes teachers should limit student access to text-generating AI and invoke the cheating policy if they are caught using them.  

Although most schools currently ban the use of AI on school computers, students can still access these programs at home. Wilson believes the best approach is better plagiarism detectors, as Chat GPT’s generated text is based on coding. Plagiarism detectors specifically trained on AI generated text would pick up the similar vocabulary and similar body structure within the writing, but the AI would evolve over time as well.  Is a race between text generation AI and plagiarism detectors inevitable?  

“The problem is, AI is developing so fast that we are not able to take the time to determine where it belongs in our society,” said Wilson. He believes “we need to take the time to study the nature of artificial intelligence and ask ourselves ethically challenging questions.” Tyree is confident that AI’s would quickly surpass human skills like programming, suggesting us humans to take full advantage of the time we still have right now. 

Wilson argues that the difference between us and AI is emotion. “[Chat GPT] does not have an emotional connection to the material that humans do. It does not struggle; therefore, it cannot understand on the emotional level what it is developing.” Relying on AI for creativity would cause us to “deny the creative nature of humans” and lose our creativity. Wilson believes that if we keep walking down the slippery slope, “we might lose our worth as human beings.”