NCWQ Education Report – May 2023

Prepared by Deslyn Taylor, Education Advisor

Artificial Intelligence and ChatGPT

The increased availability and use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Education has created great interest in the Education Sector but also creates some concerns and challenges. The most common current use in schools is the use of ChatGPT. ‘ChatGPT is a natural language processing tool driven by AI technology that allows human-like conversations and much more.(1) It can answer questions compose essays and much more. Some schools have approached the use positively. They see it as a very useful tool to help teachers prepare work for students. Professor Sam Sellar, a research dean in education policy at the University of South Australia explains ‘I think there is certainly the potential to use these new tools in ways that can make teachers’ work more professionally engaging and create more time for them to do what they do best, which is teaching in the classroom’. Students can also gain. ‘Many experts think it’s a potentially revolutionary tool for students, too. And they see an urgent need to teach kids about the technology, which is likely to be central to many of their future working lives’(1)

It is important to teach students both the positive and negative aspects of any technology available whether it is using Social Media or ChatGPT. ‘Among the pitfalls (with Chat GTP and also Social Media) is its unreliability — it frequently spits out complete inaccuracies, fabricated data, made-up quotes and information influenced by the technology’s in-built biases. One teacher said’ Students are taught to understand and work in this environment. ‘One student explains she has been using it to sift through sources of information for a history assignment, inputting written prompts like “find me some quotes for an essay about indentured servitude in Fiji and India’. The students know that any information they obtain must be fact checked before being used. (1)

Currently ChaGPT is banned in most Australian Public Schools but is being used as outlined above in some independent schools. This creates a ‘digital divide’ which is unfair to public school students and staff. This will be discussed by Education Ministers this year.(1) The advantages of using ChatGPT have been recognised by some while still banned by many. ‘UniSA experts are encouraging teachers to take an active role in testing and using these cutting-edge tools to maintain a competitive edge in their profession.’(2) Plagiarism is the main fear for teachers and educational institutions. ‘We already know that managing AI for out-of-class assignments could be challenging, but perhaps it’s indicative of the need to change traditional assessment models so that they better match modern learning needs?’(2)

AI is here to stay. It is already used in a variety of ways that impact our lives. AI relies on a base of current knowledge and the concern is ‘the amplification of systems and social problems that already exist.’ Bias and Discrimination are already built into our current data. We need to be aware of this otherwise the increased use of AI will compound our current problems. Skills like creativity and innovation may be difficult for AI to replicate. “Open-ended activity with peers has been shown over and over to encourage emotional intelligence, build strong relationships, help build creativity, and encourage problem-solving and critical thinking skills,”(4) This is what we need for the future and especially a future that includes AI.

Deslyn Taylor (Education Advisor Qld)
M Ed.(QUT), B.A. (U.Q); Grad. Dip. Comp.Ed. (QUT)






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