To the Editor:
Teachers should not be worried about whether ChatGPT will disrupt learning (“ChatGPT: Teachers Weigh In on How to Manage the New AI Chatbot,” Jan. 3, 2023). Instead, educators should spend their time on how they can better train students to utilize artificial intelligence for human-intelligence augmentation.
Future-proof education should teach students to harness new technologies to prevent human redundancy. If a piece of work can be satisfactorily done with the help of ChatGPT, then so be it. It goes against students’ best interests to compel them to learn AI-replaceable skills in this fast-changing world.
We always praise “work smart, not hard.” Those who can utilize technologies for more efficiency or apply them in an innovative manner will gain an edge in the competitive market. It would be nonsensical to deter students from using it when many professions are all rushing to explore ChatGPT.
Students who are willing to try out new things should be encouraged. Coexisting with technologies is not just a skill but also a mindset that should be instilled in young people as early as possible.
Before ChatGPT, we expected students to learn the basics of writing from scratch. Deviating from this tradition will understandably lead to concerns. But if ChatGPT can already provide a draft, the new learning focus should be on how students can add their input or audit the draft (which itself is a great skill that professional editors have mastered).
If a student is capable of refining an AI-generated work that is already of quality, it is a demonstration of mastery of the topic and literary skills. From this positive angle, the AI-generated work raises the bar of output quality expected from students.
Educator & Policy Advocate
UNESCO SDG4 Youth Network
Hong Kong, China
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A version of this article appeared in the February 01, 2023 edition of Education Week as How to Co-Exist With Tech Is ChatGPT’s Lesson