Editorial | Artificial Intelligence should be a resource, not a crutch in school

Editorial | Artificial Intelligence should be a resource, not a crutch in school

A+ChatGPT+prompt+is+shown+on+a+device+near+a+public+school+in+Brooklyn%2C+New+York%2C+on+Jan.+5.

AP Photo/Peter Morgan

A ChatGPT prompt is shown on a device near a public school in Brooklyn, New York, on Jan. 5.

With the recent influx of artificial intelligence programs that can create art, write essays and help write code, some students have started to use AI to help them with schoolwork. And professors have picked up on the trend as well.

Some syllabi have begun to dissuade students from using AI with their schoolwork because it is like plagiarism, which is typically when someone copies work from the internet or another person.  Having a robot help write a paper or create a project leads to a gray area of whether or not using AI counts as plagiarism. While AI can be a tool to help students jumpstart the creative process, it should remain a tool and not a crutch. Relying solely on these kinds of programs to do your coursework can cheat students out of a good education.

Many of these programs can help brainstorm ideas, so a user can input an idea and have AI help generate where to go next. Sometimes it helps to have something to bounce your ideas off of, particularly in fields such as creative writing or advertising. However, using AI becomes a problem when you rely solely on the ideas and work a computer creates. 

Sometimes, AI takes away opportunities from people who have creative skills. Recently, DALL-E, an AI program used to generate art, essentially stole art from real artists without compensation or acknowledgment. Even when AI says it’s creating something from scratch, it’s ultimately using other people’s artwork to mimic an original piece. If it’s made from artists’ or writers’ previously created work, then it is not original and should be considered plagiarism.

Relying solely on AI also detracts from the importance of the creative process. If students begin to rely on AI to do their art projects, then they will never truly know how to create their own art. It also wastes the thousands of dollars a year people spend on art school.

In the same vein, using AI programs such as ChatGBT to write essays or creative writing projects totally defeats the purpose of learning how to write well. There are some programs that can help students with the brainstorming process, as that is usually the most difficult part of writing. However, using ChatGBT to fully write your paper takes away from your writing education. 

Not to mention that there is a lack of human emotion that is often missing from AI generated writing. The best writing and the best art come from the human emotions behind it. Using AI to create art and writing takes away any creativity and relies solely on creating something as fast as possible. 

Relying on AI makes humans become lazy and lack the skills necessary to operate in the workforce. Someone who exclusively used AI to do all of their work throughout their college career will struggle when entering the workforce. Using AI as a crutch will only go so far — be human and work creatively. 

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