New age of education: The rise of AI and technology

O'Ryan Nelson, Staff Writer

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, the ChatGPT epidemic has been one you’re certainly aware of. The rise of AI tools across all industries has been a monumental one, but one industry that has had the biggest uphill battle against AI is the education and school system.

chatgpt on an iphone
As the pressure of work piles on them, students often feel the pressure to cheat for good grades and thus turn to ChatGPT to assist them on assignments. (O’Ryan Nelson)

With ChatGPT and other AI tools being capable of writing entire essays, generating answers for just about any question imaginable, and paraphrasing entire essays, it’s clear to see the meteoric impact and rise in popularity that these tools would have among students. Many have been using these tools undetected, getting passing grades on assignments that were thought to be impossible for them, much to the chagrin of teachers across the country.

With AI tools advancing at the exponential rate they are, we could see a completely different and significantly improved version of ChatGPT in the imminent future, maybe even as soon as next year. The prospect of the new generation having access to AI, a concept that was foreign to us not even a year ago, is one that is concerning, and could lead to bigger issues across the educational system.

The education system has been no stranger to cheating systems and students taking shortcuts, but none could have predicted this type of tool coming and taking students by storm this quickly. With the exponential growth of technology and increasing craftiness of students, the education system is scrambling to find solutions to their problems.

Many teachers have begun using anti AI technology that is capable of detecting AI work, and have been keen on what applications have been used to fake certain assignments. Although this has been very useful in discouraging students from using AI technology, the implications of this technology in the first place spell a grim tale for the future of the educational system. 

Cheating in education has always been a topic of hot discussion, often sparking discussion on whether or not the student is to blame for not wanting to put the effort into work and for being unwilling to actually learn the material they work on, or the school system’s fault for putting so much emphasis on grades that a student would be put in a situation where they are willing to cheat. Despite the debate, many agree that AI will undoubtedly change the course of education, for the better and for the worse.

AI tools can obviously be used for cheating and for easy As on assignments, but there are also potential goods to be had from AI tools being implemented into the education system. From the ability to easily synthesize information, as well as being able to use tools like ChatGPT as a more advanced version of a search engine, there are many benefits for students and teachers alike that could greatly benefit and enhance the learning students get out of a subject. Even with the potential good of integrating AI into the education system, there is still a giant heap of issues that are to be had with the further implementation of AI and technology in general.

Technology has been spreading throughout society, especially in the Western world, with children having iPads just about everywhere they go, adults going everywhere they go, and technology being an integral part of nearly every industry in the world. The advent of AI not only in education, but everywhere would only further the overreliance on technology we have developed as a society.

An increase in technology also means the rise of malicious uses of technology, although this goes much farther than just cheating on a test, or telling ChatGPT to write you a 5 page essay on climate change. The use of malicious technology backed by AI could be used to steal information, leak personal and/or classified information, or maybe even launch cyberattacks against people or groups. 

Along with the malicious uses, technology already has had a very large effect on the student population, not just in this country, but across the world. Kids having their attention spans lowered by scrolling through social media, deepfake and AI voice technologies rapidly advancing to make degenerate content, and adults using the internet to groom and traffic children in plain sight.

Even though there have been, and will be, many negatives with technology, it is still an essential part of our world, especially the world of education. The only way we can advance as a society is with newer and better technologies with more and more beneficial features, so maybe the new age of AI tools and advanced technology could be the next step towards a better future for the students of the country.