By Sereena Kumar
Expressing my own opinions through writing is a privilege. I can say what is in my heart without being afraid of people rejecting what I feel. Never in a million years would I want a robot to take away my privilege to express. We have a dangerous superpower that allows us to make a machine do the thinking for us. Writing a paper for English class has turned into copy pasting the prompt into ChatGPT and getting the perfect paper in seconds. There’s no way to go back in time to erase the powerful resources that have been laid out at our feet, but Artificial Intelligence isn’t the end of our world.
AI should be used to create and learn, rather than to plagiarize and cheat.
Artificial Intelligence may be created to think like a human, but it can never feel like one. I believe that the purpose of Artificial Intelligence is to enhance creativity, not replace it.
Students who feed essay prompts into ChatGPT to write for them are only hurting themselves. They are handing over the power of knowledge to a robot. They will never get the opportunity to create something of their own and feel good about their creation.
Teachers are quick to notice an unoriginal piece of work because they can tell when a piece lacks the emotion that only humans can put into their writing. In the end, the cheating student loses their teachers’ trust, and the student doesn’t get credit for ChatGPT’s work.
I had a friend in a short story writing class who developed a fantasy world and characters solely using ChatGPT’s brain. The plot sounded like every Indiana Jones movie in it and the story had no special “spark” that distinguished him from any other writer. He described his work as “macaroni and cheese without the cheese”. The teacher never figured out that the work he wrote didn’t belong to him, but that didn’t matter.
At the end of the camp, unlike every writer, he didn’t have a piece to take home that he was proud of. Facing writer’s block and every battle that comes with creativity would have given him more satisfaction than kicking his feet up and not doing any work.
The big question is, how can we use AI to encourage learning rather than to avoid learning? My friend found the answer to this question by developing the website, “DeAP Learning” that allows high schoolers to ask any questions about an AP social studies subject.
The unique thing about this website is that the bot is programmed to answer questions using the knowledge of Steve Heimler. His YouTube channel, “Heimler’s History” saved me and my friends from hours of reading boring textbooks to study for the AP exam.
His videos use humor and filter out extraneous information that isn’t necessary to ace the dreadful AP World exam.
The night before the exam while I was cramming the bajillion time periods from the syllabus, it hit me that I didn’t know how to write a DBQ (document based question).
It was one of the hardest and most important essay questions on the exam to score points on. I pulled up “DeAP Learning” to ask the bot to write me an example of a DBQ on the time period that I was struggling to understand.
It was a much quicker alternative than watching a 15-minute YouTube video of someone explaining how to write a DBQ using general, obvious tips. I was able to ask a history expert for real-time feedback on the area I was specifically struggling in, using AI’s help.
AI should only be used for this purpose in classrooms. It should give students the tools to invent rather than being the inventor.
Students should feel empowered to use their own minds. Just because AI is designed to catch mistakes more often than our minds, does not mean that AI is smarter than us. We should put in place clear boundaries for how much we use AI in an educational setting. If used the right way, AI will give us the learning devices to create our own, original product.
This essay would turn out very differently if ChatGPT wrote it because it wouldn’t have a personalized touch that would lead my friends to say, “Oh yeah, Sereena definitely wrote this!”.
Sereena Kumar is a Junior at Enloe High School and has a passion for writing. Contact: [email protected]