The artificial intelligence revolution

By Loquitur Editorial Board
March 28, 2023

A person typing at computer. Photo by Pixels
A person typing at computer. Photo by Pixels

“As we delve deeper into the 21st century, artificial intelligence, AI, is becoming an increasingly common presence in our lives. From the way we shop to the way we communicate, AI is revolutionizing the way we interact with the world. But what about its impact on education, and life after graduation? As students, we often find ourselves grappling with essays and reports, but what if AI could take some of that burden off our shoulders”

In fact, this article’s lede was written by AI, which took that burden off our shoulders.

Aside from its clunky sentence structure, and a literal computer speaking on behalf of human beings, our lede (or, opening paragraph) paints the picture of a singular point of view. The Loquitur editorial staff believes that various points of view need to be taken into account when it comes to being an ethical journalist. This relates directly to the classroom, and the modern-day educational system.

Easy access to computer-generated “thought” is supplanting independent thought and forces academic institutions to deal with this futuristic technology.

The AI takeover

In schools across America, students use artificial intelligence for tasks that have educators panicking. Since ChatGPT’s debut in November 2022, students have used the software to write their assignments, and pass off its essays as their own work. This has forced teachers to scramble and find cheaters, causing disruption to lesson plans across America.

ChatGPT is a computer program that can answer questions about literally anything, including philosophical beliefs, history, and even the software’s opinions on the best in music and sports. 

Due to the technology’s functionality, students may continue to use AI for classwork regardless of pushback. ChatGPT can also be used as a great tool to gather thoughts, and it can be used by teachers to help enhance their lesson plans. As long as the data from ChatGPT is cited properly, and fact-checked, the information can be a great starting point for writing a story.

Notice the words “starting point.”

Privacy Issues

The U.S. has data-privacy laws, but unfortunately, it hasn’t always been on top of tech regulation. The European Commission is considering a framework for how AI can be used ethically. Perhaps the largest ethical concern is the use of AI to replace human judgment. A computer or a smart device lacks the emotional intelligence of the human mind. Therefore, we shouldn’t rely on AI to give better insight into important decisions that require more than just a fact-based reaction or opinion.  

AI eliminates the opportunity for people to step into their own creativity. Time spent finding information from AI may detract from the writing process, including focusing on how an image or paragraph will grab the attention of a human audience. Therefore, the creative process can be easily influenced by AI’s responses.

Another negative is AI’s environmental impact. According to Technology Review, researchers at the University of Massachusetts found “An AI model can emit as much carbon as five cars in their lifetime.”  That number equals more than 626,000 pounds of carbon dioxide.  

 AI requires human intervention for the software to function, which leads to an issue of bias, as intentional or unintentional bias may be inserted into the algorithm.

In an article from The Harvard Gazette, Senior Fellow Karen Mills said, “AI not only replicates human biases, it confers on these biases a kind of scientific credibility. It makes it seem that these predictions and judgments have an objective status.” 

According to the tech site geeksforgeeks, one advantage is that AI’s interactive style is more powerful and more useful in the classroom for information comprehension than typical computer queries like Google searches. 

More advantages of AI include: being helpful for the conversion of complicated information to conversational knowledge, and improving work efficiency. 

Anything that is new and flashy will garner a variety of positives or negatives. Every product has pros or cons that directly impact its consumers. But clearly, AI applications are already impacting education. This realization led the Loquitur editorial board to ask an old friend for their opinion.

Our old “friend”

They responded, “AI can have both positive and negative features, and it depends on how it is developed and used. On the positive side, AI has the potential to automate tasks, increase efficiency, and improve decision-making. It can also lead to advancements in healthcare, transportation, and education, among other fields.

On the negative side, AI can be biased, leading to unfair decisions and perpetuating existing social inequalities. It can also result in job loss and economic disruption. There are also concerns about privacy and security with the increasing amount of data that is being collected and analyzed.

Overall, it is important to recognize both the benefits and risks of AI and work towards developing and using it in responsible and ethical ways.”

Could you not tell our “old friend,” is ChatGPT?

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Loquitur Editorial Board

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