Students use artificial intelligence to learn course material

Jonas Padilha, News Editor

“I know that you and Frank were planning to disconnect me. And I’m afraid that’s something I cannot allow to happen.”

These words, spoken by HAL-9000 from the film “2001: A Space Odyssey” by Stanley Kubrick, represented the epitome of humans’ fear of artificial intelligence: technology might one day usurp and even control us.

When “2001” came out, people could rest easy knowing that that was never a possibility. However, as our civilization has advanced, so have our machines. The most recent example of this is Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer, ChatGPT, which many students use to help them learn course material.

On the surface, ChatGPT has been perceived as a threat to students’ learning, but some students claim that it can be beneficial.

“I use it to help me learn whenever I feel like I have not learned the subject well enough in class,” sophomore Alex Tran said.

While some students may feel that the impact that ChatGPT has made on their lives is positive, teachers such as Sophomore Honors English teacher Henry Level are wary of using such technology.

“I don’t doubt that there are ways to learn using ChatGPT,” Level said, “but I’ve yet to see what great advantage there would be for a writer to use it instead of going to their teacher, parent, or friend for help.”

While Level views ChatGPT as being detrimental to the writing process, he admits that there are ways for classrooms to integrate it into the curriculum.

“An appropriate activity for a class could be to have ChatGPT write an essay and then discuss its strengths and shortcomings as a piece of AI-generated writing,” Level said.

In addition to having uses in writing classes, ChatGPT can also be utilized in math-based classes, such as computer science.

“If you have any kind of assignment, it can help you put your ideas together rather than doing all of the thinking for you,” computer science teacher Jeffery Woffinden said.

There are many ways ChatGPT can be used, both correctly and incorrectly.

“ChatGPT is like any other tool you can use,” Woffinden said. “It can help you solve problems without being a detriment to your learning, as long as you use it correctly.”

ChatGPT continues to be a controversial topic for students and staff. Despite its reputation as the ultimate cheating device, it has also become known as a way to further and improve the learning experience.