ChatGPT has been restricted in New York City due to “safety and accuracy” worries. Schools now fully fear an AI takeover with ChatGPT.
The New York City Public Schools system’s devices and networks no longer support ChatGPT, a contentious new artificial intelligence tool that has generated controversy in less than two months since it became publicly accessible.
According to a representative for NYCPS, Jenna Lyle, the restriction is the result of “concerns about negative impacts on student learning, and concerns regarding the safety and accuracy of content.” Lyle has now verified the decision to the Associated Press and several other news organizations.
“While the tool may be able to provide quick and easy answers to questions, it does not build critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, which are essential for academic and lifelong success,” Lyle added.
According to Chalkbeat, ChatGPT can generate “stunningly cogent and lifelike writing” and “itch perfect essay responses to prompts spanning a wide range of subjects,” leading many instructors and administrators to worry that writing assignments may suddenly become redundant.
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AI chatbots have existed for a while, but from the end of November 2022, ChatGPT has been available for free to anybody with an internet connection. The tool, which was created by San Francisco-based OpenAI in collaboration with Microsoft, can produce text as well as photos and videos by drawing ideas from a database of digital media.
The largest US public school district, New York, has banned ChatGPT, which may encourage other districts to follow suit. OpenAI has issued a statement stating that it intends to cooperate with schools moving ahead in an effort to prevent a wider ban.
“We don’t want ChatGPT to be used for misleading purposes in schools or anywhere else, so we’re already developing mitigations to help anyone identify text generated by that system,” the company said, according to AP.
The New York restriction only applies to the network and equipment used by the school district; it does not prevent students or staff from using the AI at home. According to a teacher Chalkbeat spoke with, the prohibition might have the opposite effect.
“We’ve trained a whole generation of kids to pursue rubric points and not knowledge,” said Adam Stevens, who teaches history at Brooklyn Tech, “and of course, if what matters is the point at the end of the semester, then ChatGPT is a threat.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, ChatGPT creator Sam Altman is in investor talks at a $29 billion valuation with venture capital companies Thrive Capital and Founders Fund, which are in discussions to invest in the deal.
Stevens proposed that the AI could be used to develop a “baseline” response to simple instructions instead, adding that schools treated Google in a similar way 20 years ago.