Cons of AI

February 10, 2023

As AI opens a door to a world of new possibilities, it also opens a world of risks. The speed at which AI technology can complete assignments that may otherwise take hours of original thought can be tempting. However, relying on technology to complete school work can negate the long-term benefits of a high school education.

Advancement is considered a good thing in almost any context, but from the perspective of a physics teacher, Johnston warns that without regulations, advancement in AI could cause unforeseen issues.

“Are there positive uses for AI? Of course, but AI run amok is a serious concern that probably isn’t taken seriously enough,” Johnston said.

The goal of school is that you are taking away something that you can use later. If you’re having something do your work for you, you’re not actively learning.

— English teacher Madeline Byrd

Within the educational sphere, AI usage can result in plagiarism and other forms of academic fraud. While some AI generated texts may not be direct plagiarism, in its exact definition, is adamant that passing AI writing as your own is academic fraud.

“… if it’s not written by you, you are not the author, and you are saying those words are your own. That would be considered academic plagiarism,”Byrd said. “ You know, as long as it’s your words, it’s yours. If it’s not your words, it’s not and I think it can be as simple as that.”

Some students, like junior Olivia Peters, agree with Byrd’s sentiment, and are opposed to using AI complete assignments.

“I think [AI] is harmful to students,” Peters said. “It also throws off the way that people are able to complete academic work and I think it makes it a little unfair. I get there’s benefits to it and leveling a learning environment could be good, but mostly, it feels like cheating.”

With the technology being easily accessible, students might ask themselves: what could be so bad about using AI if they don’t get caught? An anonymous sophomore boy who used ChatGPT to complete a writing assignment explains how he utilized the program without anyone noticing.

“It was a short essay, only a few paragraphs,” the sophomore said. “I took the prompt from Canvas and tailored it a little bit so it made a little more sense to the AI. I put it in, then I went back through and read the provided sources and I put some quotes [into the AI]. I didn’t get caught I got an A on the assignment.”

According to teachers and students alike, there are long term, personal effects of using AI programs to complete work.

By Julia Shumaker

According to Byrd, when instructors assign work for a class, the goal of creating that assignment is improvement in a specific area, regardless of whether or not students may view it as busywork.

“The goal of school is that you are taking away something that you can use later,” Byrd said. “If you’re having something do your work for you, you’re not actively learning.”

Students with lots of homework and busy schedules may be tempted to turn to AI to complete simpler assignments. When an assignment is low-impact and doesn’t require much thought, the anonymous sophomore believes it can be easy to justify using AI.

“On [the assignment I used AI for], I was able to rationalize it very easily,” the sophomore said. “I would feel bad about doing it in a honors or AP class, or anything where I feel like it would actually be like, ‘Oh, I can learn from this.’ In that class, I was able to easily rationalize to myself, ‘Oh, it’s just this assignment.'” 

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