Ghost Writer or AI?

Unique programming software brings a new age to written assignments


Photo by C. Colbath

Chat GPT is an AI writing program developed by Open AI.

Caroline Colbath, Entertainment Editor

With new artificial intelligence (AI) being released every day, it didn’t take long for software engineers to produce an algorithm that can not only respond to questions but can also write complex stories and paragraphs. ChatGPT is a chatbot released by OpenAI in November of 2022. Some of its many functions include its ability to write essays, construct emails and answer questions. While this AI Program may be beneficial for the everyday businessman, there has been a recent trend in students using the AI to complete their assignments for them.

Dan Plonski is a history teacher who does not believe in using AI programs such as ChatGPT for school work.

“AI programs like ChatGPT are designed to be time savers but not to replace the act of thinking. If students, teachers or others in the education field relied on AI we would become a society of editors, editing what a computer produces with the trillions of data points entered by into it,” Plonski said. “Usage of AI should be as a editing and production tool. Fortunately, schools are not in that business, we try to help people learn through the analytical thinking process.”

Many believe that it is unethical for a student to use an AI program to complete their assignments. The assignments given by a teacher are given to test the student, not the program.

Riley Maguire (11) first saw the program on TikTok and was interested in different answers the program could provide her, but has not used it for any schoolwork.

“I don’t think students should be able to use them because it does all the work for them by just typing in the prompt. It could also give students feedback and help students with their work without giving them the straight answer,” Maguire said.

The recent controversy on whether students should be allowed to use the program to write their essays has also brought up another question on whether teachers can figure out whether a student uses an AI program or not.

In a study conducted by a Wall Street Journal author, a student enrolls in a college level English class. The only thing that sets this student apart from the rest of the class is that all of her assignments were completed by ChatGPT, including a live discussion. At the end of the experiment, the author found that while ChatGPT did write well-structured essays, it does have some factual flaws and cannot be used for all assignments.

While ChatGPT may not be a perfect tool to get all As, it can have other uses. Teachers may use it to write curriculum or lesson plans that could potentially take up valuable class time.

Whether used for writing emails, essays or lesson plans, ChatGPT provides intellectual responses to questions provided by the users. Most of the time, however, ChatGPT is used for the amusement of its users.

Luke Duncan (11) believes that ChatGPT should be used for fun, rather than a way out of work.

“I don’t think students should be allowed to use it for essays or tests, even as an idea generator. I think that a major purpose of school is to facilitate creativity and critical thinking in students, and using an external source for any part of that process is equivalent to asking another human for the same thing,” Duncan said.

The debate on the ethicality of AI continues with the release of several programs similar to ChatGPT, such as Google’s Bard.