ChatGPT and AI may spell the end of school homework
Since AI can now write essays, teachers may need to switch what kind of homework they assign.
What you need to know
- A school in London, England may stop assigning essays as homework because ChatGPT can be used to cheat.
- ChatGPT is an AI tool that can generate human-like text about an expansive range of topics.
- The tool earned an A-star, the highest mark possible, on an assignment at Alleyn's School in London, England.
OpenAI's ChatGPT is a powerful tool that can generate human-like speech. But it may be too powerful for some schools. Alleyn's School in southeast London is considering getting rid of assigning essays as homework due to ChatGPT. The AI tool can be used to fulfil assignments with little effort or learning by students, reported The Times (opens in new tab).
While artificial intelligence isn't new, ChatGPT brought it to people's fingertips with a simplified interface. The tool launched in November 2022 and has been in the headlines since. ChatGPT generated an essay that earned an A-star, which is the highest mark one can earn in the UK.
"At the moment, children are often assessed using homework essays, based on what they've learnt in the lesson. Clearly if we're in a world where children can access plausible responses … then the notion of saying simply do this for homework will have to go," said Alleyn's School headteacher Jane Lunnon.
Lunnon explained that homework will continue to be useful for practice, but supervised assessments and assignments will be required for "reliable data on whether children are acquiring new skills and information."
In addition to concerns about children not learning the content they're assigned, Lunnon expressed worry about students not being able to learn from mistakes.
"School is where we learn what to do and how to do it. It's also where we learn what not to do. What doesn't work," said the headteacher. "How to get things wrong and how to deal with that. We all know how important it is to learn to fail."
As AI continues to improve, situations like this will likely become more common. We've seen news outlets rely on AI to generate content, students use AI to cheat, and an author use ChatGPT to write a book.
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Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at firstname.lastname@example.org (opens in new tab).