Connection. It’s one of the staples of human needs. But with the introduction of AI technology, is this pillar being pushed to the backburner for the sake of expediency?
A new artificial intelligence system, Chatbot GPT, is causing a lot of commotion in the teaching community. To summarize, Chatbot GPT is a system that can generate essays and form algorithms to answer complex questions, more than any popular system that has been introduced so far.
It’s no wonder teachers are concerned. These systems, without proper regulations, can undermine the effects of teaching. Students can have the option to put in a prompt, click a few buttons, and let AI do the work for them. Without the need to write those papers for themselves, students aren’t going to be taking in the information they need to learn something from their classes, and it could be damaging to their education later on when they no longer have the option to use shortcuts like AI programs.
It should also be noted that these programs still make errors in logic and substance. Students could take AI answers to be absolute truth, even when these systems are open to mistakes. There’s no better way to learn the information than to do the research yourself.
A paper by David Aldridge called “Cheating Education and the Insertion of Knowledge” voices the concerns of an AI system trying to influence human knowledge. It says “if we could predict the outcomes of a learning process with an appropriate algorithm, we would have solved an “AI complete” problem. But intelligence is not such that it can be replicated by an algorithm.”(622)
The rise of technology has already impacted students, most prominently from the online shift in 2020. They were robbed of the sources they use to make friends and interact with teachers and their peers. AI is further impacting them because instead of connecting with other students or asking for help with assignments, it is giving them the option to help them with their work, which could end up impacting their ability to form connections at future jobs or solve problems without the help of AI systems.
A report by the Consortium for school Networking, as reported by Edweek.org states that “this approach has the potential to further perpetuate education inequity by advancing a cheaper but inferior education system. For example, if students spend more time interacting with or through technology than in face-to-face settings, it could negatively impact their ability to interact socially.” (4).
Students also need to have the opportunity to utilize everything education has to offer, and with the advancement of AI systems, the dangers of creating an imbalanced system are imminent. People in disadvantaged communities as opposed to wealthy communities will have unequal access to AI resources, so the opportunities to use AI could end up only being available to people who can afford the technology needed to access it.
According to a survey by Pew Research Center, white students are more likely to have access to traditional home or portable computers than black or hispanic students, with 80% of white students having computers and network connections at home, as opposed to 60-70% of hispanic and black students. Without a stable network at home, minority students would be negatively affected more with the advancement of AI systems.
Students are at school to build their knowledge and skills, and AI makes it harder to accomplish that effectively. Besides that, the unequal access to these systems are creating an environment in which some students will be forced to work harder and more honestly for their education than others, which is something all students should be striving to do. AI technology will ultimately have a negative impact on our learning abilities and should be avoided.