Institutions work to combat misuse of artificial intelligence in classrooms

From Region 8 News at Six
Published: Aug. 22, 2023 at 5:23 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 22, 2023 at 6:37 PM CDT
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POCAHONTAS, Ark. (KAIT) - The use of artificial intelligence is a hot topic across the United States right now.

AI is now being used in multiple fields, including education.

Colleges across the area are working to ensure the technology is being used ethically and beneficially.

“When we became aware of AI and the usage of it in our education or in education in general, I knew it was something we needed to take seriously. We immediately formed a task force that consisted of faculty and staff,” said Dr. Brad Baine, Black River Technical College’s vice president of academic affairs.

Back in February, BRTC told K8 News the technology was first noticed on campus in November 2022.

Through task force meetings, the college said it wanted to show instructors how to use the technology to their advantage.

“We wanted to make sure that while we didn’t fear this technology, we embraced it appropriately. We wanted to make sure our staff would know how to use it in their classrooms. Those that are comfortable with it,” Dr. Baine said.

Many are using a version of AI called ChatGPT that can write about numerous topics in seconds.

Not only has artificial intelligence grown over the last year, as have the programs that can detect it being used by students to cheat on assignments.

“We use a software system called to run any essays or papers through. Turnitin has now implemented an AI detection tool through their software,” BRTC Social Science Instructor Rachel Koons said.

Koons explained for right now, she’s allowing her students to use artificial intelligence in her classes for specific assignments.

“I haven’t fully allowed them to use it, but I am teaching them ways they can use it as long as they cite the information that is coming from the AI software,” Koons added.

BRTC said while this is a significant advancement in technology being used in its classrooms, it knows this won’t be the last.

“In my mind, this is just the latest evolution of technology. While we’ll continue to see advances, it’s important that we not be fearful but that we allow our students to utilize it. Not just to gain their education, but to prepare them for their profession,” Dr. Baine explained.

The college said individual course syllabuses for the fall semester should state whether artificial intelligence is allowed or not.

If students use this technology in courses and it’s not allowed, they could fail the assignment or even the entire course.