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The ChatGPT dilemma in education and its ban in some educational institutions around the world: do we really have to fear?

ChatGPT was released at the end of 2022 by the company Open AI and, since then, it has been a success, as it has surprised by its great ability to dialogue and give quick answers to complex questions. So much is its potential that, Microsoft you have already integrated this AI into your search engine Bing and everything seems to indicate that more technological players will bet on it. However, in some educational institutions they refuse to trust it.

For example, in early 2023, New York Public Schools banned the use of the ChatGPT chatbot across its entire network. The motives? Teachers fear that students will use it for homework and exams.

It does not support critical thinking or (strengthen) problem-solving skills, which are essential for academic and life success”, pointed out a spokesperson for the Department of Education, Jenna Lyle, in a public statement.

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Weeks later, the French university Sciences Po announced that it had not only banned the chatbot from its classrooms, but also included sanctions for those who break the rule.

“Even with expulsion from the institution or higher education”, he said in an email addressed to teachers and students.

Now since Trade We talked with two Peruvian professors to learn their perspective on the controversy of ChatGPT in education.

Is ChatGPT a threat to the educational community?

I don’t think of it that way. It is one more tool. We university and college professors simply have to change our strategies”, affirms César Beltrán, in charge of the Artificial Intelligence laboratory at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP).

The specialist compares this discussion with the same one that arose when the Internet arrived. He recalls that, before, it was essential to have an encyclopedia at home for any consultation and that, with the advent of the Internet, it was feared that it would disappear since the students “they were going to have everything in hand”. However, over time it was shown that this network would itself serve as a tool that would open the doors to other possibilities”.

The same will happen with ChatGPTBeltrán considers.

For his part, Carlos Ulises Castro Castro, professor and undergraduate and postgraduate scientific research advisor, comments that “in itself ChatGPT It is neither positive nor negative, everything will depend on the use that the student makes with that technology. Some students will use it to copy homework, exams and also research papers and others will not. The choice is made by each student”.

Sciences Po was the first higher education center in France to ban this conversational robot (Photo: Caroline Maufroid / Sciences Po) (Caroline Maufroid / Sciences Po/)

Castro believes that the questions should point to the way in which they are made “school and university chores and academic activities”.

He believes that “the prohibitions and police persecutions of the school and the university towards the students do not lead to much and finally they do not solve anything or very little.

“I am inclined not only to change how homework is done in educational institutions, but also to a general and systematic change in the school and university education system.Castro declares.

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A useful tool for teachers

The artificial intelligence specialist specifies that the conversational robot, instead of representing a threat, aims to be more of an ally of the teachers.

I recently introduced (ChatGPT) to a colleague who teaches language literature and who was totally unaware of the subject. It was surprising for her“, mentions.

The teacher, says Beltrán, began to ask the AI ​​for a summary of a literary work and gave it to her. She then asked him for a summary for a 10-year-old boy, she also gave it to him. She even asked him questions about the work that he could ask her students and he asked them.

This will allow me to quickly make my curricular plans”, the teacher told Beltrán.

She confessed that to make her curricular plans she would take a whole day or a weekend. But, ChatGPT he did it in minutes.

ChatGPT was banned in New York schools for

ChatGPT was banned in New York schools for “not helping critical thinking.” (Photo: AFP)

New ways to teach with AI

I teach classes in Diploma in artificial intelligencehe. (…) I used to ChatGPT as starting pointBeltran says.

What he did was ask the AI to explain about the topic he was dealing with in that session and he read his answer with his students. At the end, he identified that there were certain aspects that the conversational robot did not cover, so it was precisely those information gaps that he developed in class.

We have to change our teaching strategies“, recognize.

For his part, the expert teacher in research work, Castro, proposes that one way to live with this technology is by refocusing the way of evaluating that currently exists in educational institutions.

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The evaluation system should not be based on the information that the student places in a Word, but on the analytical, reflective, critical and argumentative capacity that the student demonstrates regarding the research topic that he has carried out”.

As a reflection, César Beltrán says that, “We should be flattered that we are experiencing a revolution in artificial intelligence.” The changes that are coming in our society as a result of AI will resemble the same ones that resulted when electric power was discovered, he points out.

Castro proposes that what education should do in the face of these changes is not only seek to adapt “but also seek to use it in the best possible way”.

Source: Elcomercio

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