Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by hubie on Thursday January 19 2023, @08:45PM   Printer-friendly
from the let-us-know-how-that-works-out dept.

https://www.geekwire.com/2023/seattle-public-schools-bans-chatgpt-district-requires-original-thought-and-work-from-students/

Seattle Public Schools is joining a growing number of school districts banning ChatGPT, the natural language chatbot from OpenAI that has sparked widespread attention in recent weeks.

ChatGPT has garnered praise for its ability to quickly answer complex queries and instantly produce content.

But it's also generating concern among educators worried that students will use the technology to do their homework.

SPS blocked ChatGPT on all school devices in December, said Tim Robinson, a spokesman for Seattle Public Schools, in an email to GeekWire.

"Like all school districts, Seattle Public Schools does not allow cheating and requires original thought and work from students," he said.

The district also blocks other "cheating tools," Robinson said.


Original Submission

Related Stories

A Watermark for Chatbots can Expose Text Written by an AI 5 comments

The tool could let teachers spot plagiarism or help social media platforms fight disinformation bots:

Hidden patterns purposely buried in AI-generated texts could help identify them as such, allowing us to tell whether the words we're reading are written by a human or not.

These "watermarks" are invisible to the human eye but let computers detect that the text probably comes from an AI system. If embedded in large language models, they could help prevent some of the problems that these models have already caused.

For example, since OpenAI's chatbot ChatGPT was launched in November, students have already started cheating by using it to write essays for them. News website CNET has used ChatGPT to write articles, only to have to issue corrections amid accusations of plagiarism. Building the watermarking approach into such systems before they're released could help address such problems.

In studies, these watermarks have already been used to identify AI-generated text with near certainty. Researchers at the University of Maryland, for example, were able to spot text created by Meta's open-source language model, OPT-6.7B, using a detection algorithm they built. The work is described in a paper that's yet to be peer-reviewed, and the code will be available for free around February 15.

[...] There are limitations to this new method, however. Watermarking only works if it is embedded in the large language model by its creators right from the beginning. Although OpenAI is reputedly working on methods to detect AI-generated text, including watermarks, the research remains highly secretive. The company doesn't tend to give external parties much information about how ChatGPT works or was trained, much less access to tinker with it. OpenAI didn't immediately respond to our request for comment.

Related:


Original Submission

Amid ChatGPT Outcry, Some Teachers are Inviting AI to Class 3 comments

Under the fluorescent lights of a fifth grade classroom in Lexington, Kentucky, Donnie Piercey instructed his 23 students to try and outwit the "robot" that was churning out writing assignments:

The robot was the new artificial intelligence tool ChatGPT, which can generate everything from essays and haikus to term papers within seconds. The technology has panicked teachers and prompted school districts to block access to the site. But Piercey has taken another approach by embracing it as a teaching tool, saying his job is to prepare students for a world where knowledge of AI will be required.

"This is the future," said Piercey, who describes ChatGPT as just the latest technology in his 17 years of teaching that prompted concerns about the potential for cheating. The calculator, spellcheck, Google, Wikipedia, YouTube. Now all his students have Chromebooks on their desks. "As educators, we haven't figured out the best way to use artificial intelligence yet. But it's coming, whether we want it to or not."

The article goes on to describe different exercises Piercey uses and comments from other teachers who are using ChatGPT to enhance their lessons.

[...] The fifth graders seemed unaware of the hype or controversy surrounding ChatGPT. For these children, who will grow up as the world's first native AI users, their approach is simple: Use it for suggestions, but do your own work.

Previously:


Original Submission

Dishonor Code: What Happens When Cheating Becomes the Norm? 20 comments

Students say they are getting 'screwed over' for sticking to the rules. Professors say students are acting like 'tyrants.' Then came ChatGPT:

When it was time for Sam Beyda, then a freshman at Columbia University, to take his Calculus I midterm, the professor told students they had 90 minutes.

But the exam would be administered online. And even though every student was expected to take it alone, in their dorms or apartments or at the library, it wouldn't be proctored. And they had 24 hours to turn it in.

"Anyone who hears that knows it's a free-for-all," Beyda told me.

[...] For decades, campus standards have been plummeting. The hallowed, ivy-draped buildings, the stately quads, the timeless Latin mottos—all that tradition and honor have been slipping away. That's an old story. Then Covid struck and all bets were off. With college kids doing college from their bedrooms and smartphones, and with the explosion of new technology, cheating became not just easy but practically unavoidable. "Cheating is rampant," a Princeton senior told me. "Since Covid there's been an increasing trend toward grade inflation, cheating, and ultimately, academic mediocrity."

Now that students are back on campus, colleges are having a hard time putting the genie back in the bottle. Remote testing combined with an array of tech tools—exam helpers like Chegg, Course Hero, Quizlet, and Coursera; messaging apps like GroupMe and WhatsApp; Dropbox folders containing course material from years past; and most recently, ChatGPT, the AI that can write essays—have permanently transformed the student experience.

[...] On January 2, a Princeton University computer science major named Edward Tian—who may be the most hated man on campus—tweeted: "I spent New Years building GPTZero—an app that can quickly and efficiently detect whether an essay is ChatGPT or human written."

So now it's nerd vs. nerd, and one of the nerds is going to win—probably whoever gets more venture funding. Everything is up in the air.

Previously:


Original Submission

Robots Let ChatGPT Touch the Real World Thanks to Microsoft 15 comments

https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2023/02/robots-let-chatgpt-touch-the-real-world-thanks-to-microsoft/

Last week, Microsoft researchers announced an experimental framework to control robots and drones using the language abilities of ChatGPT, a popular AI language model created by OpenAI. Using natural language commands, ChatGPT can write special code that controls robot movements. A human then views the results and adjusts as necessary until the task gets completed successfully.

The research arrived in a paper titled "ChatGPT for Robotics: Design Principles and Model Abilities," authored by Sai Vemprala, Rogerio Bonatti, Arthur Bucker, and Ashish Kapoor of the Microsoft Autonomous Systems and Robotics Group.

In a demonstration video, Microsoft shows robots—apparently controlled by code written by ChatGPT while following human instructions—using a robot arm to arrange blocks into a Microsoft logo, flying a drone to inspect the contents of a shelf, or finding objects using a robot with vision capabilities.

To get ChatGPT to interface with robotics, the researchers taught ChatGPT a custom robotics API. When given instructions like "pick up the ball," ChatGPT can generate robotics control code just as it would write a poem or complete an essay. After a human inspects and edits the code for accuracy and safety, the human operator can execute the task and evaluate its performance.

In this way, ChatGPT accelerates robotic control programming, but it's not an autonomous system. "We emphasize that the use of ChatGPT for robotics is not a fully automated process," reads the paper, "but rather acts as a tool to augment human capacity."

Some Teachers Are Now Using ChatGPT to Grade Papers 68 comments

https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2024/03/some-teachers-are-now-using-chatgpt-to-grade-papers/

In a notable shift toward sanctioned use of AI in schools, some educators in grades 3–12 are now using a ChatGPT-powered grading tool called Writable, reports Axios. The tool, acquired last summer by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, is designed to streamline the grading process, potentially offering time-saving benefits for teachers. But is it a good idea to outsource critical feedback to a machine?
[...]
"Make feedback more actionable with AI suggestions delivered to teachers as the writing happens," Writable promises on its AI website. "Target specific areas for improvement with powerful, rubric-aligned comments, and save grading time with AI-generated draft scores." The service also provides AI-written writing-prompt suggestions: "Input any topic and instantly receive unique prompts that engage students and are tailored to your classroom needs."
[...]
The reliance on AI for grading will likely have drawbacks. Automated grading might encourage some educators to take shortcuts, diminishing the value of personalized feedback. Over time, the augmentation from AI may allow teachers to be less familiar with the material they are teaching. The use of cloud-based AI tools may have privacy implications for teachers and students. Also, ChatGPT isn't a perfect analyst. It can get things wrong and potentially confabulate (make up) false information, possibly misinterpret a student's work, or provide erroneous information in lesson plans.
[...]
there's a divide among parents regarding the use of AI in evaluating students' academic performance. A recent poll of parents revealed mixed opinions, with nearly half of the respondents open to the idea of AI-assisted grading.

As the generative AI craze permeates every space, it's no surprise that Writable isn't the only AI-powered grading tool on the market. Others include Crowdmark, Gradescope, and EssayGrader. McGraw Hill is reportedly developing similar technology aimed at enhancing teacher assessment and feedback.

This discussion was created by hubie (1068) for logged-in users only, but now has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
(1)
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by DannyB on Thursday January 19 2023, @08:58PM (3 children)

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 19 2023, @08:58PM (#1287611) Journal

    Doesn't original and independent thinking go against the core mission of public school?

    Isn't the purpose to turn students into robots suitable for exploitation by either the military or private employers?

    Individuality, original ideas, and expression are permitted within those parameters.

    --
    To transfer files: right-click on file, pick Copy. Unplug mouse, plug mouse into other computer. Right-click, paste.
    • (Score: 5, Touché) by acid andy on Thursday January 19 2023, @09:13PM (2 children)

      by acid andy (1683) on Thursday January 19 2023, @09:13PM (#1287616) Homepage Journal

      Correct.

      Presumably once bots like ChatGPT get good enough at completing the tasks the students are currently being taught to do, those skills will no longer have value in a human resource to an employer. At that point the schools will have to start teaching something else. Dancing? Being a good court jester perhaps? Hard labour building power stations for more ChatGPT bots?

      --
      If a cat has kittens, does a rat have rittens, a bat bittens and a mat mittens?
      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by fliptop on Thursday January 19 2023, @10:31PM (1 child)

        by fliptop (1666) on Thursday January 19 2023, @10:31PM (#1287636) Journal

        those skills will no longer have value in a human resource to an employer

        Perhaps the tables will turn and the ChatGPT robot will become the teacher.

        --
        Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.
        • (Score: 2) by canopic jug on Saturday January 21 2023, @11:41AM

          by canopic jug (3949) Subscriber Badge on Saturday January 21 2023, @11:41AM (#1287875) Journal

          Perhaps the tables will turn and the ChatGPT robot will become the teacher.

          The tables have already turned. The administrators hire the teachers and researchers instead of the other way around. Now the administrators run the institutions like businesses: into the ground and then beg for bailouts. In order to do that, they turn to "austerity" and cut budgets and staffing to the bone in the misguided hope, or flat out lie, that performance will improve if only they cut enough. And the fastest way to cut corners is with teaching staff:

          But as the cost falls, and as people become increasingly unable to distinguish plausible-sounding nonsense from genuine wisdom, human suppliers will compete with machines in a race to the bottom. And the disastrous consequences will not be limited to academics’ bank balances. As a systems theorist, I predict that this market for lemons, as economists call it, will run into the same problem that devastated banana production in the late 20th century: production of sterile monocultures. Positive feedback loops of mediocrity will kill off intellectual progress by failing to reproduce innovative experts with core disciplinary skills. At best, we will be stuck in an endless recycling of “approved facts”. At worst, our ability to reason and assess knowledge claims will collapse, leave us sitting ducks for recruitment and brainwashing by malign forces.

          In fact, you could argue that we are nearly there already. Credential inflation means that a degree is now considered a necessity, and many students are not so much thirsty for knowledge as anxious about being left behind in the red queen’s race to grow their CVs. Profit-hungry universities’ response to this market has, at the extreme, reduced professors to poorly paid operators of degree machines that chunk educational material at the optimal grade for retention by passive student-consumers. Such a model is ripe for automation and sublimation by LLMs, whose training data can be washed of anything too marginal.

          -- AI will replace academics unless our teaching challenges students again [timeshighereducation.com]

          Universities and colleges have a lot of remedial work to restore former capacity as knowledgeable authorities in various fields. Continuing to give passing grades to students merely for showing up, all in the name of turning a profit for the department or the institution, is not part of that.

          --
          Money is not free speech. Elections should not be auctions.
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by DannyB on Thursday January 19 2023, @09:08PM (3 children)

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 19 2023, @09:08PM (#1287614) Journal

    ChatGPT doesn't necessarily give you accurate information. It is scraped from what people have written online.

    OTOH, if ChatGPT were to give you useful accurate information, where do we draw the line about "cheating device"?

    I remember when four function calculators were considered cheating. Now everyone uses them. They are ubiquitous and sometimes under $1.

    Is Google considered cheating?

    I understand that schools want to test you on your knowledge. In the real world, especially professionals, get to use calculators, slide rules, consult reference manuals, and look up the cosine of an angle in a large book, or the shearing force of a certain metal alloy.

    Shouldn't basic adult skills include things like setting up a home WiFi router?

    --
    To transfer files: right-click on file, pick Copy. Unplug mouse, plug mouse into other computer. Right-click, paste.
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 20 2023, @03:00AM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 20 2023, @03:00AM (#1287662)

      Students shouldn't get to use any of those "cheating" devices you mention until they show a proficiency in the underlying material. Some people make the same argument about ChatGPT as well. I think in its current version it is a horrible thing to unleash on students because it is so confidently wrong about many things.

      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Friday January 20 2023, @03:51PM (1 child)

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 20 2023, @03:51PM (#1287745) Journal

        You say that like it's a bad thing. ChatGPT may be wrong, but its confidence makes up for that. So it is neither good nor bad.

        --
        To transfer files: right-click on file, pick Copy. Unplug mouse, plug mouse into other computer. Right-click, paste.
        • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Friday January 20 2023, @03:55PM

          by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 20 2023, @03:55PM (#1287746) Journal

          I should have added: ChatGPT's confidence in its wrong answer makes it very well suited to be a politician, lawyer or CEO.

          --
          To transfer files: right-click on file, pick Copy. Unplug mouse, plug mouse into other computer. Right-click, paste.
  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by bradley13 on Thursday January 19 2023, @09:31PM (4 children)

    by bradley13 (3053) on Thursday January 19 2023, @09:31PM (#1287623) Homepage Journal

    This is like banning pocket calculators 50 years ago. Stupid, because you cannot enforce it. Sure, in an exam setting, you can set the conditions. Otherwise? Forget it.

    If you look at it another way: ChatGPT can be a great tutor. Make use of it! It will never tire of explaining things, and on simpler topics it is quite good.

    Forbidding scary new technology says more about the people doing the forbidding than about the technology.

    --
    Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 19 2023, @09:48PM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 19 2023, @09:48PM (#1287629)

      > This is like banning pocket calculators 50 years ago.

      No, it's not.
      You would throw out a calculator that gave you wrong answers.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Freeman on Thursday January 19 2023, @10:35PM

        by Freeman (732) on Thursday January 19 2023, @10:35PM (#1287637) Journal

        That is so true. Still, that reminds me of this quote: https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/151984-if-in-other-sciences-we-should-arrive-at-certainty-without [goodreads.com]

        “If in other sciences we should arrive at certainty without doubt and truth without error, it behooves us to place the foundations of knowledge in mathematics...”

        ― Roger Bacon, The Opus Majus of Roger Bacon

        --
        Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
      • (Score: 3, Touché) by jb on Friday January 20 2023, @02:26AM (1 child)

        by jb (338) on Friday January 20 2023, @02:26AM (#1287658)

        You would throw out a calculator that gave you wrong answers.

        You'd think so, wouldn't you? But unfortunately most people aren't that rational -- e.g. hundreds of millions continued to use Intel CPUs, even after the whole faulty FPU thing (and almost 3 decades later, people are still buying their faulty designs, although the faults have changed to suit the times).

        • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Friday January 20 2023, @03:59PM

          by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 20 2023, @03:59PM (#1287747) Journal

          But unfortunately most people aren't that rational

          People think it is in their best interest to cheer on and vote for someone to represent them who says democrats eat babies.

          --
          To transfer files: right-click on file, pick Copy. Unplug mouse, plug mouse into other computer. Right-click, paste.
  • (Score: 2) by jelizondo on Thursday January 19 2023, @11:37PM

    by jelizondo (653) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 19 2023, @11:37PM (#1287643) Journal

    I never had an original thought in my life. As Goethe supposedly said: ‘Damn the ancient! They stole my best ideas.’

    That didn’t keep me from getting two degrees (law & engineering) and having had important positions in government and industry. Maybe they don’t really mean ‘original’?

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by crafoo on Friday January 20 2023, @12:54AM (3 children)

    by crafoo (6639) on Friday January 20 2023, @12:54AM (#1287645)

    "Like all school districts, Seattle Public Schools does not allow cheating and requires original thought and work from students," he said.

    This "spokesman" must be familiar enough with the public education system to know it is not about teaching original thinking, critical thought, and that it actively promotes submission to authority and compliance.

    A real problem in our culture is how easily and frequently people lie. nothing is going to get better in the long term until we get better.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by khallow on Friday January 20 2023, @02:07AM (2 children)

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 20 2023, @02:07AM (#1287653) Journal

      A real problem in our culture is how easily and frequently people lie. nothing is going to get better in the long term until we get better.

      If your utopia requires better humans, then you're doing it wrong.

      • (Score: 3, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 20 2023, @10:37AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 20 2023, @10:37AM (#1287715)
        The AIs' utopia might not require or even have humans at all.
        • (Score: 2, Funny) by khallow on Saturday January 21 2023, @06:52AM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday January 21 2023, @06:52AM (#1287852) Journal
          Well, hopefully the AI utopia won't require better AI than the AI that create it.
(1)