Positions towards generative AI in education: ignore it, prevent it or take advantage of it?
1.1. The human hand in artificial intelligence technology
The nature of AI as an artificial technology means that the human hand is present at all times in its development and use. Following this, we can define AI as the ability of machines to use the algorithms and data generated by people to generate knowledge products (written, oral or in video format).
It is important to highlight that, although the improvement in algorithms and the handling of large amounts of data may offer more opportunities in the use of AI, it is also essential to take into account the limitations that this technology presents. Errors in the algorithms, lack of data or unreliable sources can negatively affect the effectiveness of AI and must be carefully considered before its application.
This point is critical because it is very important to understand the opportunities and limitations of this technology before deciding if it is a suitable tool for use in educational settings. Making informed decisions about the use of AI in education requires a clear understanding of its nature and its limitations.
1.2. Transparency and trust
It is essential to note that artificial intelligence (AI) is not a stand-alone technology, but is the product of the work of specific individuals and organizations. In the particular case of ChatGPT, its development is in the hands of the Open AI company, whose founders include prominent members of the technology industry such as Elon Musk. This organization aims to work for the betterment of humanity, operating as a non-profit company. However, its origin and the possible intentions underlying the creation of this technology may raise legitimate doubts around their true interests and ultimate goals, which should alert us when using it.
1.3. Stances on AI
Following the study by Veletsianos et al. (2023) that focuses on the quantitative analysis of the content published on institutional websites in relation to Artificial Intelligence, including opinion articles and debates, three main themes have been identified: teaching experiences with AI, concerns about how to evaluate it and the role of students in the use of AI. Based on these themes, three different positions have been identified in relation to AI (Prochaska, 2023):
- “Ignorance is bliss”: lack of modification before the irruption of the AI. Vision focused on the detection of plagiarism.
- “Know your enemy“: focused on designing jobs that AI cannot do (offering writing alternatives in class and giving specific instructions).
- “If you can’t beat them, join them”: work with the student to demystify and deconstruct textual artifacts produced by AI (rhetorical analysis, peer review, rearrangement of written content with AI, make comparisons…)
Although the first point has an exclusive position, the other two can be seen as complementary.
1.4. ChatGPT Limitations
In contrast to other artificial intelligence proposals, such as the metaverse promoted by Mark Zuckerberg, ChatGPT is expected to have a greater real impact. However, despite its significant advances, excessive expectations are being generated around this technology, since its capacity is limited by human thought.
These systems have the ability to manage existing information, which could allow them to perform excellently in roles like journalism. However, their limitation lies in their inability to generate new knowledge from the information they handle. In addition, the information that ChatGPT handles can be false and sometimes it cannot distinguish between true and false information. Lastly, it is worth mentioning that ChatGPT cannot substantiate its answers. Often, the references it uses are nonexistent, and if it does provide a reference, it is usually very general and lacks specific reference authors or articles.
1.5. What stance is going to be imposed in education?
Generally speaking, most of the teaching community will take a defensive stance towards the application of artificial intelligence in the classroom. This will result in a conservative approach, seeing AI as a threat to assessment systems and opting to return to more traditional practices, such as oral assessments.
Despite the fact that this vision represents a reductionist perspective of the learning process, it is a majority position due to the resistance to change that has historically occurred in the educational field. In this sense, the tendency towards involution is always present in this area and waits for any opportunity to manifest itself. An example of this is the resistance and lack of commitment of some teachers who implement the competency-based teaching approach superficially, without real conviction and without adequately integrating technologies into the educational process, turning classrooms into limited and static spaces that do not promote dynamic interaction or the use of more interesting interfaces for learning.
1.6 Edul@b with AI in education
It is important to recognize that the presence of technologies such as ChatGPT in education is increasingly common and it is necessary to learn to live with them as we live with others that also control and manipulate us. The implementation of these systems can help solve some activities that were previously entrusted to students, which can generate concerns about the evaluation itself and about plagiarism control.
In this context, it is relevant to consider that teachers must balance the time and effort invested in detecting the use of tools such as ChatGPT in exams with the time and effort dedicated to other areas of teaching, since an excessive focus on the prevention of Plagiarism can have a negative effect on student learning.
Instead of focusing exclusively on plagiarism prevention, the teaching plan should be rethought with a solid pedagogical foundation that allows adequate use of these tools to address the new educational needs of students, with the aim of promoting true learning. This implies identifying specific needs and educational demands, as well as adapting to the pedagogical redefinition that the introduction of new technologies entails.
As Watkins (2022) and Teachonline.ca (2023) mention, it is essential to reflect on the value of teachers in the teaching-learning process, discuss the ethical and accounting implications of the use of these technologies with students, and establish clear policies for their use. proper use and recognition. In addition, it is important to consider the educational needs and demands of the students and workers of the future with the information available and reflect on how to use these methodologies with the tools that we have at our disposal.
Prochaska, E. (January 23, 2023). Embrace the Bot: Designing Writing Assignments in the Face of AI. Faculty Focus. https://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/course-design-ideas/embrace-the-bot-designing-writing-assignments-in-the-face-of-ai/
Teachonline.ca (January 18, 2023). AI and the future of Teaching and learning. https://teachonline.ca/ai-resources/tools-trends/ai-and-future-teaching-and-learning
Veletsianos, G., Kimmins, R. y Bondah, F. (March 15, 2023). ChatGPT and Higuer Education: Initial Prevalence and Areas of Interest. Educause Review https://er.educause.edu/articles/2023/3/chatgpt-and-higher-education-initial-prevalence-and-areas-of-interest?utm_source=Selligent&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=er_content_alert_newsletter&utm_content=03-22-23&utm_term=_&m_i=3Gh32YnSGaet3O_95w0i4lh07_jLmVKppsG8BHZLNGzEhULemlTtn0jXLmkuLIg1ATqoUXXQ6XCMrtpf1p51q1BxKvGJ3Z&M_BT=1560980131
Watkins, R (December 19, 2022). Update Your Course Syllabus for chatGPT. Medium. https://medium.com/@rwatkins_7167/updating-your-course-syllabus-for-chatgpt-965f4b57b003