AI is revolutionizing the world but not critical thinking

The fantasy world of robots and highly intelligent machines taking over is no longer embedded in fantasy novels. It has become a reality, as AI has revolutionized and changed students learning and teacher’s pedagogical style. 

ChatGPT allows students to type a prompt, which ChatGPT then generates a written response—essentially writing it for the user. ChatGPT threatens the critical thinking in high school. Students have been using it as a tool to answer their homework questions or even go to the extent of having it write essays or articles.

AI stands for artificial intelligence, which refers to the ability of machines or computer programs to perform tasks that typically require human intelligence such as problem-solving or learning.

AI involves creating algorithms and computer systems that can analyze data, learn from it, and make decisions or take actions based on that analysis. The ultimate goal of AI is to create machines that can perform tasks autonomously without human intervention, and to simulate human-like intelligence and behavior,” according to the website.

Dylan Rifial, a senior at MHS who is one of the three co-leads of the robotics team, has concerns with the way artificial intelligence has taken over in terms of education and writing. 

“AI writing definitely has some implications for teachers since I know that many students are tempted to give their homework prompts to resources like ChatGPT. I’ve seen it generate accurate responses to questions about quantum physics,” Rifial said. So, it definitely is concerning but I also feel like it should come with a moral implication like students should be expected not to submit someone else’s work.” 

Along with many concerns from teachers and students in regard to AI, many ponder whether there is a way to detect when AI has been used. There are some websites that are able to detect AI, although there are many ways around it.

“The problem is that AI is still a formula. You have this really complicated pattern that is so complicated that we as humans can’t understand. In the end it’s just one big math equation. There are ways you can look for little similarities, words that ChatGPT likes to use, or sentence structure that’s not typically what a human would write. But it’s such a big pattern it’s very hard to detect,” Rifial said. 

Some teachers are changing their teaching styles in order to ensure students are not using ChatGPT in school for essays or assignments.

“Many of the teachers, including me, are talking about next year having all the writing happen in class by hand unless students have accommodations otherwise,” MHS English teacher, SallyAnn Rembert said. Although ChatGPT is extremely new, many websites such as Turnitin have programs specifically made for detecting AI.

“There has been a paper found which was completely AI detected from the Turnitin,” Rembert said. 

“The biggest issue for me is that I believe we are teaching ourselves to be lazy thinkers or not to think at all because we are leaving the thinking to artificial intelligence. The more we do that the closer we get to ‘Idiocracy’ [a satirical film about anti-intellectualism],” Rembert said.