NYC public schools ban access to AI tool that could help students cheat

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Public schools in New York City have restricted access to ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered chatbot developed by Microsoft’s OpenAI, that has become quite a rage for giving human-like text answers to questions.

New York City students and teachers can no longer access ChatGPT on education department devices or internet networks, agency officials confirmed, reports Chalkbeat.

The education department blocked access to ChatGPT, citing “negative impacts on student learning, and concerns regarding the safety and accuracy of content”.

“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,” a New York City Department of Education spokesperson was quoted as saying.

An OpenAI spokesperson said the company is developing “mitigations” to help anyone spot text generated by ChatGPT.

“We made ChatGPT available as a research preview to learn from real-world use, which we believe is a critical part of developing and deploying capable, safe AI systems. We are constantly incorporating feedback and lessons learned,” said the spokesperson.

The chatbot has sparked fears among some schools and educators that their writing assignments could soon become “obsolete” — and that the programme could encourage “cheating and plagiarism”.

One high school English teacher argued in The Atlantic that the chatbot spells the “end of high school English”.

OpenAI, the developer behind ChatGPT, is reportedly trying to raise capital at a valuation of almost $30 billion.

Microsoft acquired OpenAI for $1 billion and is now pushing ChatGPT applications for solving real-life problems.

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