New York City Schools Have Banned ChatGPT From Writing Essays – But Will It Work?


New York City schools have banned ChatGPT as it has increased the chances of cheating and plagiarism for students. 

Jenna Lyle, a department spokesperson, said the decision comes from “concerns about negative impacts on student learning, and concerns regarding the safety and accuracy of contents”.

ChatGPT was created by OpenAI, an independent artificial intelligence research foundation co-founded by Elon Musk in 2015. 

According to OpenAI, the conversation format allows ChatGPT “to answer follow-up questions, admit its mistakes, challenge incorrect premises, and reject inappropriate requests”. 

“While the tool may be able to provide quick and easy answers to questions, it does not build critical thinking and problem-solving skills, which are essential for academic and lifelong success,” Lyle said.

Still, schools can request access to ChatPGT for “purposes of AI and technology-related education”, she added.

The company told the Washington Post: “We don’t want ChatGPT to be used for misleading purposes in schools or anywhere else, so we’re already developing mitigations to help anyone identify text generated by that system.

“We look forward to working with educators on useful solutions, and other ways to help teachers and students benefit from artificial intelligence,” it added.

Last month, OpenAI’s CEO, Sam Altman, tweeted that ChatGPT is “incredibly limited, but good enough at some things to create a misleading impression of greatness”.

“It’s a mistake to be relying on it for anything important right now. It’s a preview of progress; we have lots of work to do on robustness and truthfulness,” he said, adding, “Fun, creative inspiration; great! Reliance for factual queries; not such a good idea.”

“The robots are here and they’re going to be doing our students’ homework,” warned educator Dan Lewer on TikTok.

Lewer advises teachers to ask students who submit their essays at home to also submit a “short and sweet” video response in which they “restate their thesis …review some of their best evidence, their best arguments, their reasoning and then at the end I would have them reflect … What did they learn from the essay … what did they struggle with, where did they think they grew.”

“This will help students develop better communication skills while helping you ensure they’re really learning the material,” said Lewer.


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