Warning: The artificial intelligence that is changing education has arrived and you need to pay attention to it today

A new application of artificial intelligence is likely to have a major and short-term impact in education. Launched at the beginning of December 2022, ChatGPT seems extremely effective in answering simple, but also more complex questions – and it works in French moreover. Enough to force all education stakeholders to review their ways of doing things, and quickly! We explain what it is and why you should be interested in it.

Who is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence application that allows you to chat with a robot in a natural way, developed by the OpenAI company. All you have to do is register for free on the site to start a conversation with the robot (ask it all kinds of questions, in fact).

Since the application is still in the “beta” stage, the user is warned that some answers may be inaccurate or incomplete. Nevertheless, by asking a few simple questions, we quickly come to the conclusion that its effectiveness is already impressive, even formidable. It is also possible to signify your appreciation of the answer offered (thumbs up or thumbs down) in order to “contribute to research” and help it to become even more effective.

Here is an example of a question we asked him.

Why be interested in it?

The launch of the application caused a stir in the school world. Immediately, we think of the opportunities for plagiarism which have just been increased tenfold. For several years now, teachers have been asked to avoid “Googlable questions” to counter plagiarism. With ChatIA, they will have to go even further in the complexity of the tasks required of their students to prevent some from using it to complete their school work…

In a video featured on TikTok, mathematics teacher Sylvain Duclos wishes to inform his colleagues everywhere about the application and call on them to be vigilant. To those who would criticize him for talking about it on a platform widely used by young people, he replies that if students are likely to quickly spot the application and try to use it, schools must take an interest in it now. The technology exists; “Your students shouldn’t benefit from it before you do!” “, he launches.

Your students should not benefit from it before you do!

Sylvain Duclos, teacher

It then presents a mathematical problem successfully solved by artificial intelligence and the writing of a detective story composed by it.

It therefore invites reflection on potential changes in teaching practice to take into account the availability of the tool: circulating in the classroom to observe the screen of the pupils during tasks carried out with electronic devices, modifying the nature of the tasks requested, and we add to that focus on creativity. “Classic assessment has just been redefined. It will be necessary to diversify the learning traces even further and ask students interview questions to validate their understanding. »

The reactions are numerous, both on his TikTok publication and on its resumption on Facebook in the group Les TIC en éducation.

@sylvainduclos2 Chat GPT, the artificial intelligence of OpenAI #education #intelligence #artificial #have #plagiarism #profsurtiktok ♬ original sound – Sylvain Duclos | Prof 🔢

What if it was an opportunity?

Moreover, rather than fear the development of the application, shouldn’t the school world rather seize the opportunity to review certain practices? Anyway, artificial intelligence will continue to gain in efficiency until the launch of another even more powerful application; ChatGPT being only the first truly mainstream manifestation of the democratization of artificial intelligence, as the magazine mentions it The Verge.

The development of critical thinking appears at the top of the list of new priorities, both for students and teachers. The answers provided by the application are certainly impressive, but it must be remembered that they will not always be completely correct. What lead to embarrassing situations on one side or the other. In addition, the level of language used can represent a clue for the teacher that there has been cheating or not. In the example on nomadism and sedentarism presented above, the level of language seems too strong for an elementary school pupil, for example.

Here is an example of a story we asked ChatGPT to write. If the result is certainly correct and without spelling mistakes, it might have lacked a bit of substance to meet all the criteria of an evaluation grid. Also note the presence of the word “marshmallows” which is not used in Quebec, unlike the word “marshmallow”.

Moreover, the importance of thinking differently about evaluation has just gained in popularity with the arrival of this new application. The triangulation of evidence of learning, which was already put forward by many teachers, risks becoming essential. Collecting written productions is no longer enough; observing the students in action and having conversations with them to validate the learning takes on its full meaning. The winter 2022-2023 issue of École branchée magazine bears entirely on this subject.

An example proposed by the Service national du RÉCIT, arts sector

For its part, the Service national du RÉCIT, domaine des arts did the test using ChatGPT to invent characters and dialogues or creative proposals. The conclusion: the tool could be very useful for teachers who need to quickly generate ideas and texts. So here is a positive use.

See the product tutorial:

But… it’s not always perfect!

In closing, to put things into perspective a bit, we asked him chatbot what is the impact of the Connected School on education. We notice that she did not completely understand the reference to our organization (although she was not very far from it!). The answer is still interesting.

And finally, here is what you would have read if artificial intelligence had written this journalistic article about ChatGPT and its impact on the world of education. She must be overloaded right now, because she never finished!

In addition

Suggested reading to go further

Some reactions we have recorded about ChatGPT:

The discussion in the group ICT in Education on Facebook

Professor Mélanie Tremblay tested it on the subject of evidence in education. Here is the result.

And the answer to the question: How to prevent students from cheating with ChatGPT?

We would love to give thanks to the author of this post for this remarkable content

Warning: The artificial intelligence that is changing education has arrived and you need to pay attention to it today

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