January 29, 2023

The advent of AI chatbots that can complete student work will lead to a learning crisis and force educators to completely rethink schooling, according to a former teacher.

“Bringing new AI technologies into schools that allow students to automatically generate essays has the potential to upend our entire writing education curriculum,” Crush the College Essay founder and writing coach Peter Laffin told Fox News. “It might make us have to rethink it from the ground up, which could end up being a good thing.”

Last week, tech company OpenAI lifted the veil AI Chatbot, ChatGPT, amazes users with its advanced features. The language model can automatically generate school essays for any grade, answer open-ended analysis questions, draft marketing pitches, write jokes, poems, and even computer code.

An educator explains how artificial intelligence can help improve schooling. Watch it here:

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The internet is awash with predictions about how this complex technology will impact multiple industries and render countless jobs obsolete. But Ruffin’s biggest concern is the impact it will have on education.

“I believe students will be able to use this technology to complete assignments without being detected,” he told Fox News. “It will become increasingly difficult for teachers to differentiate.”

Younger students, in particular, are most likely to be taken away by chatbots, Ruffin said.The same goes for inner-city schools with low student-teacher ratios, where teachers are less familiar with students’ work and thus more difficult to detect use of artificial intelligence.

“The more accessible it is to younger students, the more problems it creates,” Ruffin told Fox News.

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Mock essay prompts fed into OpenAI’s ChatGPT showed that students as young as middle school could take advantage of the new technology.
(Open AI)

College students use ChatGPT to complete busy work tasks with fewer distractions because “you’ve reached a level of complexity in understanding the content,” Laffin explained. But if young students use AI for assignments like writing a history paper, “not only are you cheating in your writing practice, you’re cheating in your history as well.”

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This artificial intelligence driven ChatGPT gained global attention and reached over 1 million users in less than a week. This is also the first time that an advanced AI text generator with a user-friendly interface is freely available to the public.

Former English teacher Peter Ruffin said teachers must understand students' writing styles and rework assignment formats to prevent abuse of ChatGPT in the classroom.

Former English teacher Peter Ruffin said teachers must understand students’ writing styles and rework assignment formats to prevent abuse of ChatGPT in the classroom.

“The fact that this could lead to an education crisis could end up working in our favor,” Ruffin said. “Because writing is something we don’t teach well.”

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Writing coaches advise teachers to improve their assignments and move away from the traditional five-paragraph essay. They should create more innovative teaching models, he said.

“School practices always seem to be behind the latest technology,” Ruffin told Fox News. “You can always be sure that kids will be one step ahead of their teachers, so you need to be very vigilant about that.”

To watch Laffin’s full interview, click here.

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