Machine Learning and Schools
0xB833
January 9th, 2023

I read last week that the NYC Department of Education has banned ChatGPT from its networks and devices. I understand that reaction and mentioned the issues that AI/ML create for educators in a post a few weeks ago.

I attended a dinner this past week with USV portfolio founders and one who works in education told us that ChatGPT has effectively ended the essay as a way for teachers to assess student progress. It will be easier for a student to prompt ChatGPT to write the essay than to write it themselves.

However, I would like to suggest that educators embrace these new tools rather than block them.

We are entering an era when AIs will be available to everyone to use to do work, entertain ourselves, and many other things. We cannot put this genie back in the bottle. We need to embrace it.

I think a better approach would be to require students to use ChatGPT to write an essay or at least help write an essay and then have the students compete to see who can leverage this technology to create the best essay. That would teach the students to use these tools rather than pretend they don’t exist.

I own a slide rule that my dad gave me. He used it for many years until calculators emerged. He told me when calculators first showed up, many educators wanted their students to continue to use slide rules. But eventually, they realized that calculators were better and embraced them.

I think the same thing will happen with AIs. So we might as well get busy integrating them into education instead of banning them.

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