Ed-Tech Policy

We Asked ChatGPT: Should Schools Ban You?

By Kevin Bushweller — April 05, 2023 1 min read
Vector illustration of the letters AI partially breaking through the red circle and slash symbol representing it being banned
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The debate about the benefits and drawbacks of artificial intelligence, and more specifically ChatGPT, is heating up. In an open letter posted on the Future of Life Institute, tech luminaries and prominent researchers, such as Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and Berkeley computer science professor Stuart Russell, are calling for tech companies to temporarily hit the brakes on the development of AI technologies.

The letter—now signed by more than 10,000 people—expresses deep concerns that “recent months have seen AI labs locked in an out-of-control race to develop and deploy ever more powerful digital minds that no one—not even their creators—can understand, predict, or reliably control.”

With those big-picture technological concerns in mind, it’s not surprising that some school districts—such as the New York City schools, the nation’s largest district—are banning the use of ChatGPT in schools, except for the purposes of teaching students specifically about AI and technology. Others have taken a more flexible approach, allowing access to the technology because they believe students and educators need to learn how to use it effectively and appropriately.

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Those opposing approaches raise an important question: Should K-12 schools ban the use of ChatGPT?

We asked ChatGPT itself that question. Here is how its artificially intelligent mind responded:

As an AI language model, ChatGPT is a tool that can be used for a variety of purposes, including educational ones. However, whether or not K-12 schools should ban the use of ChatGPT depends on the specific context and the goals of the educational institution.

On one hand, ChatGPT could potentially be a valuable resource for students in K-12 schools. It can provide students with access to information and insights that they may not otherwise have, and it can also help them develop their critical thinking skills by encouraging them to evaluate the information that they receive.

On the other hand, ChatGPT also has the potential to be misused or abused. For example, students may use ChatGPT to cheat on assignments or tests, or they may use it to access inappropriate or harmful content. Additionally, there may be concerns around data privacy and security if students are interacting with ChatGPT using their personal devices.

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to ban the use of ChatGPT in K-12 schools should be made based on a thorough consideration of the potential benefits and risks, as well as the specific policies and regulations that are in place in the educational institution. It may be appropriate to restrict or regulate the use of ChatGPT in certain contexts, such as during assessments or in areas where data privacy and security are a particular concern, while still allowing it to be used in other educational settings.

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