May 8, 2023


Educators Should Not be Afraid of Artificial Intelligence

By: Frances Floresca

In this ever-changing world, artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming the way we interact with each other, live, and work. 

Nonetheless, AI systems like ChatGPT, Grammarly, and Perplexity have concerned many people who have shown concern about these advancements. They are worried about AI taking their jobs, privacy and security, and even students relying on it too much in order to find answers or help them write essays. 

However, research from Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology argue that AI may not take away your job, but rather enhance your productivity at your job.

So will AI programs take over your child’s education? 

Not necessarily. 

Many AI programs can answer questions and even generate content. It is surprisingly impressive with its capabilities. They can solve difficult math problems, create lesson plans, help prepare quizzes, check answers, and produce book reports. 

I even use it to help me brainstorm and build on ideas. Sometimes I use it to improve my writing skills. Brittany Hunter has previously argued here that she does not think ChatGPT will become “so advanced it obliterates the need for human writers.” 

It is not perfect, but there is no such thing as a perfect learning tool. I have caught a handful of mistakes while using AI, but this is why humans are still essential to the workplace. 

The goal of having an education is to prepare us for the future and think critically. For example, most people in the workplace are not doing difficult math concepts by hand. A lot of people are either using computers, spreadsheets, digital calculators, mathematical modeling software, and even programming languages in the workplace.

While it is important to understand general concepts, the reality is that so many items are no longer done with just pencil and paper. Technology has made our lives simpler so we do not need to take a long time getting things done. Just like AI, all these developments were all new at one point, and we have embraced them. 

Many people will argue that too much reliance on too many of these tools can lead to a lack of development in critical thinking skills. If anything, it can possibly enhance critical thinking skills. 

Educators Vinod Aithal and Jasmin Silver wrote for Cambridge University explaining how using AI-assisted technology can enhance critical thinking. They argue that it can actually teach students to question assumptions from AI. 

Students who learn how to utilize AI recognize that it cannot teach opinions, values, and even moral reasoning. They have to learn and develop these with their families and on their own. 

In fact, there are already many schools not afraid to use AI software. For example, Life Skills Academy believes that it is essential for children to be exposed to tools that will be essential to their success, including AI. 

AI can also enhance teaching by allowing educators to create customized lesson plans and use it as a virtual teaching assistant to help with checking answers and grading. Not every teacher will be able to have a teaching assistant, and many of them have to check and grade assignments themselves. It will allow them to focus more on teaching and interact with their students.

The world is continuing to evolve and AI is not going to disappear, but it will never fully replace humans. Those who do not learn how to use AI could struggle to succeed in the future. Just like all advancements in technology, we need to grow and learn with it.