Letter to the Editor

Chat GPT is not the end of the world when it comes to education


Crossgrove/Chat GPT

The Chat GPT-4 response to my prompt gave me a thorough explanation on how I would go about writing an op-ed

To demonstrate the possibilities of Chat GPT, I have given the program the job of writing an introduction to this op-ed.

In today’s fast-paced, technology-driven world, students need more than just textbooks and lectures to succeed. They need a tool that can provide them with instant answers to their questions, access to a wealth of knowledge, and the ability to develop critical thinking skills. And believe it or not, that tool is already at their fingertips. It’s Chat GPT, an AI language model that has the potential to revolutionize the way we learn and teach. While some may view AI language models with suspicion, the truth is that they can be a valuable educational resource, helping students to stay engaged and motivated while providing them with the information they need to excel.

So? Was it obvious or did Chat GPT’s writing skills surprise you? Most educators, from middle school teachers to college professors, would agree that AI generated pieces of writing would be nearly on par with the skill of current students in the institutions today if AI writing wasn’t so incredibly boring. This makes cheating and students passing the work off as their own a number one fear. Many are desperate to find solutions to this issue, one being the use of “Chat GPT Checkers” to determine if a piece of writing was written by a human or AI and offering harsh punishments if the latter.

However, through my own meticulous testing I found that the top three websites used for this: Writer, ZeroGPT, and Content @ Scale, all provided different, and often incorrect, results for the likelihood that something was written by an AI. Additionally, I found that they often marked my own writing as AI generated.

So, what is the solution? It would seem then that the battle against the use of AI in academics is fruitless. But I don’t see the need to fight. Chat GPT is not the worst thing that could happen to the educational system as we know it but rather extremely beneficial. As a senior at New Trier Township High School, I have used Chat GPT on numerous occasions and have found it to be so much more than how it is criticized. The program has been able to create study guides for me, help me with math homework, write me rough drafts, help me visualize my ideas, and summarize long and complicated lectures. In short, the best way for me to describe its limitless capabilities is that it is like having my own personal tutor for every class, any time I need it, for free. It’s revolutionary.

This is how Chat GPT is actually the best thing that could happen to education. While some people may want to pay an extra $20-$50 an hour for a human tutor, most of America would rather not. It has the potential to single handedly fix the one of the biggest issues with public education by leveling the playing field for students who may not have access to the same resources and support as others. With the ability to instantly access a wealth of knowledge and guidance, students from all backgrounds can have the opportunity to excel academically.

Additionally, using Chat GPT as a tutor can also change the way students study for the SAT and ACT. The College Board states that with just 6-8 hours of personalized SAT tutoring, the average score on the test can increase by 90 points. In a 2017 experiment, Sexton Test Prep found that the average junior will see a 3-5 points of improvement on the ACT and 100-140 points of improvement on the SAT after the standard of 12-16 tutoring hours. The standardized testing model will likely not be around for much longer, but for the short time that it is, many underprivileged students can benefit.

But, it’s really hard to talk about the best of Chat GPT without discussing the very obvious issues that arise from such a powerful program. When I first heard about Chat GPT from one of my peers, I rushed to open my computer to find out how a program could possibly be able to accurately write an entire school paper. At first, I was amazed. The prompt I tried was one that my writing teacher gave me and I watched as Chat GPT went to work. The words appeared magically on the screen. The final result excelled far past my original expectations (which were quite low). But it didn’t sound like me. I was able to imagine that the writing that manifested itself on my screen could have been written by a person, that is, if that person was completely devoid of all creativity and life.

That day, I found that Chat GPT is an academic resource. It is a tool rather than a crutch and the solution to keep students from using it to their own academic demise is to show them how to use it for good. In other words, the solution is not to ban the use of Chat GPT or other AI

language models, but rather to teach students how to use them responsibly and ethically. Educators should incorporate lessons on how to provide it with beneficial prompts, as well as encourage critical thinking and original thought. By providing guidance on how to use Chat GPT as a tool for learning and growth rather than a shortcut to a passing grade, we can harness the power of AI to enhance education rather than undermine it.

Chat GPT and other AI programs are the future and there is no stopping it. Times are changing and if the institution cannot adjust to that change, then it will fail. The potential benefits for AI in education are too extravagant to pass up and teachers from all aspects of the field should be taking advantage of the endless possibilities that AI provides. What I want teachers and students across America to understand is that Chat GPT is nothing to be afraid of and its users of the program should not be sunned or punished for taking advantage of what very well could be the great equalizer that we have been looking for to improve the public education system.

Andy Crossgrove is a senior at New Trier Township High School