The New York City Department of Education has announced a ban on the wildly popular ChatGPT chatbot, which some have warned could inspire more student cheating from school devices and networks.
Jenna Lyle, spokeswoman for the department, said the decision to ban ChatGPT, which can generate spoken responses to text requests, was prompted by concerns about “negative impacts on student learning.”
“While the tool can answer questions quickly and easily, it doesn’t develop the critical thinking and problem-solving skills that are essential for academic and lifelong success,” Lyle said.
It was not immediately clear whether the ban would apply to the City University of New York system. A CUNY representative did not immediately comment to NBC News.
In New York public schools, ChatGPT is still available on demand for classes learning artificial intelligence.
Although chatbots are not a new technology, ChatGPT, created by artificial intelligence company OpenAI, exploded on social media in 2012. late Since 2022, some have declared the bot to be a better search engine than Google thanks to its conversational style and consistent, relevant response style.
In an emailed statement responding to the New York City public schools’ ban, an OpenAI spokesperson said the company “does not want ChatGPT to be used for misleading purposes in schools or elsewhere.”
The company is “already developing mitigations to help anyone identify text generated by that system,” a spokesperson said.
The New York City Department of Education’s decision to ban the bot comes amid debate over the impact ChatGPT could have on education if students use it to create homework, solve math equations and write essays.
Experts have acknowledged that chatbots like ChatGPT could harm education in the future — but in recent interviews with NBC News, some said they’re not ready to sound the alarm just yet.
Both education and artificial intelligence professionals have said that institutions will need to find ways to integrate chatbots like ChatGPT into their curriculum rather than outlawing it entirely.
“There’s always been this concern that technology will take away from what people do best, and the reality is that people need to learn how to use these technologies to enhance what they do best,” said Lauren Klein, associate professor in the departments. English and Quantitative Theory and Methods at Emory University last month, he said.
Many have likened chatbots to the rise of technology like the calculator, which was hailed as the death of math until educators began using it to elevate classroom work. Some educators also said that several computer-aided writing tools, such as Grammarly or Google Docs’ Smart Compose, are already available and currently being used in academia.
Experts have predicted that someone can create technology to detect that an essay has been written by ChatGPT. Those predictions were true.
Princeton University computer science student Edward Tian said Monday. he tweeted he said he spent the holiday creating a tool to determine whether a piece of text was created by humans or artificial intelligence.
“AI text generation is like opening pandora’s box. This is an incredibly exciting innovation, but with any new technology, we need to create safeguards so that it can be adopted responsibly,” Tian told NBC News on Twitter on Thursday.
In subsequent tweets, Tian shared videos of the program at work. In one clip, he showed how the GPTZero bot detects both human and AI text. In one clip, he posted text from a New Yorker article to GPTZero. The bot then added that the text was “probably human-made!”
An OpenAI spokesperson said ChatGPT was “presented as a research review to learn from real-world use, which we believe is an essential part of developing and deploying capable, secure AI systems.”
“We are constantly incorporating feedback and lessons learned. We have always called for transparency around the use of AI-generated text,” the spokesperson said. “Our policies require that users be upfront with their audience when using our APIs and creative tools like DALL-E and GPT-3.”
The company said it “looks forward to working with educators on useful solutions and other ways to help teachers and students benefit from AI.”