AI Knowledge Could Be ChatGPT’s Biggest Lesson for Schools

AI Knowledge Could Be ChatGPT’s Biggest Lesson for Schools

The teachers Will spoke to had already begun to apply a critical approach to technologies such as ChatGPT. Emily Donahoe, a writing tutor and instructional developer at the University of Mississippi, said she thinks ChatGPT could help teachers shift away from focusing too much on end results. Getting a class to engage with AI and think critically about what it generates could make teaching more human, she says, “rather than asking students to write and play like robot”.

And because the AI ​​model was trained with North American data and reflects North American bias, teachers find it a great way to start a conversation about bias.

David Smith, professor of bioscience education at Sheffield Hallam University in the UK, allows his undergraduates to use ChatGPT in their written assignments, but he will rate the prompt as well as – or even rather than – the test itself. “It’s important to know the words to use in a prompt and then understand the output that comes back,” he says. “We have to learn to do this.”

One of the biggest flaws of AI language models is that they make stuff up and confidently present lies as facts. This makes them unsuitable for tasks where accuracy is extremely important, such as scientific research and healthcare. But Helen Crompton, an associate professor of instructional technology at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., also found the AI ​​model’s “hallucinations” to be a useful teaching tool.

“The fact that it’s not perfect is great,” Crompton says. This is an opportunity for productive discussions about misinformation and bias.

These kinds of examples give me hope that education systems and policy makers will understand how important it is to teach the next generation critical thinking skills around AI.

For adults, a promising AI literacy initiative is a free online course called Elements of AI, which is being developed by startup MinnaLearn and the University of Helsinki. It was launched in 2018 and is now available in 28 languages. Elements of AI teaches people what AI is and, more importantly, what it can and cannot do. I tried it myself, and it’s a great resource.

My biggest concern is whether we can get the adults up to speed quickly enough. Without knowledge of AI among the adult population surfing the Internet, more and more people are bound to fall prey to unrealistic expectations and hype. Meanwhile, AI chatbots could be weaponized as powerful tools for phishing, scamming and disinformation.


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