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  • Joanne Jacobs

NYC schools ban ChatGPT


Is it real or is it artificial intelligence? ChatGPT, the new AI chatbot that"generates stunningly cogent and lifelike writing" has been banned for students and teachers by New York City Public Schools, reports Michael Elsen-Rooney on Chalkbeat


The chatbot’s ability to create essays on any topic in any style "has sparked fears" that "writing assignments could soon become obsolete — and that the program could encourage cheating and plagiarism," he writes.


The tool "does not build critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, which are essential for academic and lifelong success,” said education department spokesperson Jenna Lyle.


The program, created by the organization OpenAI, "can pull and compile historical facts, write in specific styles, and make convincing logical arguments — all with nearly perfect grammar," writes Elsen-Rooney.


It can make factual errors, like a student unable to analyze online misinformation. But it writes better than many students. In fact, one way to identify chatbot-generated text is the lack of grammatical and spelling errors.


Open AI is working on ways to identify bot-generated text, such as adding a "watermark," writes Megan Morrone on Fast Company.


There are other options already available: The GPT-2 output detector model lets instructors "paste text into a box and immediately see the likelihood that the text was written by AI," she writes.


Over the winter break, Edward Tian, Princeton senior, created GPTZero, an app that can help determine if text has been written by a human or a bot, writes Morrone. "Since tweeting about GPTZero on January 2, Tian says he’s already been approached by VCs wanting to invest and will be developing updated versions soon."

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