Favorable or fraught with danger?

With publicity raging across Australia and many other countries through private, government and independent organizations and education providers, Chat GPT, an Open AI developed artificial intelligence chat bot which was launched in November 2022 is being accessed by innumerable students for exam preparation. ChatGPT, being in the research phase, is a free service that offers students not only a variety of activities to test their knowledge, but also points out their areas of weaknesses or areas that require extensive preparation, and this has led to students’ improved performance and grades.

There is also much talk and research on AI in classrooms, especially in the teaching and learning assessments. In the education industry, Artificial Intelligence is being successfully employed in a few ways such as creating courses, facilitating personalized learning, establishing Global classrooms, identifying gap in educational materials or by automating manual processes of educators, creating virtual learning environments that facilitates group and individual learning experiences, besides providing digital guides, textbooks, videos, etc.

AI is also used in assessing teacher efficiency in the classroom with greater emphasis on content knowledge. According to ‘An AI-Application-Oriented In-Class Teaching Evaluation Model by Using Statistical Modelling and Ensemble Learning’ published on MDPI in January 2021, AI analyses the collected datasets (a minimum of eight) of teachers’ movements, teachers’ emotions, teachers’ speech text, teachers’ volume and speed, teachers’ label, students’ movements, students’ emotions, students’ label as per the designed set of classroom evaluation index system which is then matched against the traditional classroom evaluation framework. There is no guarantee that the AI wouldn’t use teachers’ voices to trace their locations, their activities after work hours, have access to their private conversations, relationships, etc., which could lead to the serious violation of privacy and personal information laws. While talking about ChatGPT, although the current focus is on teacher assisted AI and not AI replacing teachers, there is no assurance that pays scales wouldn’t be affected; the argument being AI is expensive and is doing more than 50% of teachers’ administrative work or manual processes, and hence deserve only reduced pay scales. Whether ChatGPT opens new avenues for corrupt practices or cunning manipulations remains to be seen? Hope the usefulness of ChatGPT continue to outweigh the negative consequences of employing AI in the education industry.

The interesting perspectives of various students (in the video included below) who instead of seeing ChatGPT as a promising facility can see beyond the positivism and identify a few significant pitfalls.

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