How to use ChatGPT in studies? Teachers are clear: “AI usually betrays the student”

Artificial intelligence can be a great help for students, but it can also be the opposite if it is not used correctly.

Generative artificial intelligence models , such as ChatGPT , are increasingly known and used by students. So much so that the use of the platform by Spaniards has skyrocketed in its first year of life, according to GFK. However, this is not always done in the best possible way, and it is a reality that some students use this and other AI models to do their work and other tasks.

You have to be careful, since some models do not have all the guarantees in terms of obtaining information, but they are still platforms that can be used a lot . They can be used in many ways in which they perform reliably to reduce times.

Just as the use of other tools is allowed in the development of courses, is it negative to use AI for certain tasks? What do teachers think about it? chat with David Varona,  professor at the Department of Journalism and New Media at the Complutense University of Madrid and with Sara Ribas, teacher of Higher Level Training Cycles in Social Sciences at  the European University, to ask them about the use of artificial intelligence by students.

There is some debate, since the possible misuses that can be given to these utilities today and the difficulty in detecting them are questioned. However, it is evident that the curricula and teaching given to students in the centers must be adapted to new technologies and tools so that they can get the most out of them in the workplace.

The use of AI can be evident

As happens in some cases with translations, the result that comes from asking ChatGPT or another AI to compose or synthesize a text can give itself away. Although the model seeks to have a natural language,  “there are times when it is quite clear due to the examples they use and the structure in the writing. In the end, you know how your students write, and these AI models usually use phrases and some very recognizable expressions,” David Varona tells.

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According to Sara Ribas, students still have to learn how to make a prompt — the instructions that the AI ​​receives to create the text or image —  correctly. “By not knowing how to specify well in the instruction, the answers tend to be made with technical and specialized language, so on numerous occasions this language is the one that usually gives away the student ,” she says.

Some applications that detect plagiarism, such as Turnitin, are not capable of detecting, in themselves, that a text has been created by an AI, unless it has copied content. “We do not have a method to detect the use of artificial intelligence when writing, what we are receiving is a lot of training, the university is organizing many workshops for teachers,” explains Varona.

For his part, Ribas agrees that the way of writing is capable of revealing whether it has been used or not. “Even so, and making use of the best possible technology, another of the great options that teachers have to detect plagiarism is still knowing the content and language of the students themselves.”

It should not replace the effort

AI can be a great help for many cases, it is not something bad in itself, but this assessment derives from the use that the student gives it. It can be something that helps you speed up the process of doing a job, but it should not replace your effort, nor should it replace your dedication.

“You can have a positive view of technology, but not of those who try to find a shortcut to obtain a degree without effort and without developing personally and professionally,” says Ribas. In his opinion, the ideal thing would be for everyone to know how to use them to be able to benefit from the speed of response in some tasks, but without replacing the effort involved in researching the topic in question.

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He considers it important to teach how to use this technology. Also the fact that activities are updated and certain rubrics are changed to adapt to new technologies. Professor Varona agrees, and explains that students’ practical skills are increasingly valued , so it does not make much sense to prohibit the use of a tool like ChatGPT or Bing Chat.

There are times when the use of artificial intelligence does not make sense because it is the student who must have the knowledge to develop what is asked of him. He states that if it is used, he sees positively that the student acts ethically and recognizes that he has used this tool and explains how he has integrated it into the work process, since its integration into the work process can also be a competence. .

AI as help

Although one of the first uses that comes to mind when talking about ChatGPT is its ability to summarize a text or develop a theme, it can do much more, and there are many cases in which it has the ability to guide students. without them having to stop trying. Artificial intelligence models are still an aid that the student can use, but should not take advantage of.

David Varona comments that the use of AI in the academic field can be similar to that of search engines like Google. Furthermore, this technology is already used professionally in many sectors, so there is no point in preventing students from using it correctly. At the end of the day, it is a matter of adapting to the new times, “there was a time when mathematics teachers found it abominable for a student to use a calculator, and today no engineering student goes to class without one” .

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For her part, Sara Ribas also highlights that “from the point of view of student learning, it must be demonstrated that they have thought, worked and investigated the concepts. An activity done 100% by AI would mean a lack of work.” He also emphasizes that we must be careful with the potential flaws that these AI models may have in terms of information: ” he does not provide you with sources, he tends to say that all the works are his if you ask him and, furthermore, if you do not have the most up-to-date version of your information may be obsolete.