Artificial Intelligence is becoming a problem for schools in the Capital as teachers are increasingly beset with identical assignments, similar essays, and frequent instances of plagiarism. They are noticing a big difference between class work and home work which they believe students are copying from AI-based technologies that generate text, most popularly ChatGPT.

Most schools have banned personal smartphones. Despite that, an internal survey in a local international school showed that students enrolled in IB and IGCSE courses at the high school level use such chatbots fairly frequently. This is already reflected in their learning and comprehension levels. They noticeably falter on the same kind of assignments as handwritten assignments in class. “This basically means that they are copying homework from AI,” said a teacher.

Impact on learning abilities

Teachers are anxious about the students’ learning abilities and their future performances. “They can’t even write a single paragraph without looking at their laptops,” an English teacher said. At this particular school, Chat GPT has been disallowed. Its website has been blocked from the school Wi-Fi, but still students find ways to sneak, and the teachers worry about their performance in upcoming mid-terms.

Ethical considerations

However, a questionnaire filled out by high school students in 11th grade in IB showed that 9 out of 10 students use AI to do their school assignments. When asked about the use of AI, one student responded by saying, “I think that it’s inevitable and therefore we should try to accommodate it, in an ethical and limited manner.” Another student said, “It’s the future. If the AI can do it, we probably shouldn’t be learning it in any case.” Using AI for research saves time for students and gets their work done faster. “I feel using AI to clear our understandings about something is not wrong but completely depending on AI and not giving our own outputs or completely copying from AI is definitely wrong.” said another student.

According to Sudha Acharya, Principal, ITL Public School, Dwarka, the problem is not AI but how it is used and regulated.

“We do not allow the use of personal smartphones in the school. But we are one of the first CBSE schools to start teaching AI to students, much before the chatbots came into use. We believe that new technology needs to be learnt. Our teachers use the latest technologies in the classroom for their presentations, PPTs etc. And we teach it as a subject to the students. But we do not allow it to interfere with our academic integrity,” Acharya said.