AUSTIN (KXAN) — Artificial Intelligence has become a popular topic lately, but some people have concerns.
In Eanes ISD, the district is looking into current policies and figuring out how applications like ChatGPT can be used.
“I think it has lots of value in education we are just trying to figure out where that fits,” said Fred Benitez, who is the director of educational technology at Eanes ISD.
Benitez pulled up the application, ChatGPT, which he said is currently restricted for students in the district.
“Explain quantum computing in simple terms and it will start producing that right away,” said Benitez, as he typed in a question to the search bar.
“I think with any new technology, a part of it is looking for the benefits of classroom use and then identifying the potential barriers,” Benitez said.
There are concerns about the use of AI in the classroom, though, as these applications can answer questions or even write a paper.
“I think universally everyone’s first concern is plagiarism,” Benitez said.
KXAN did receive an email from parents at LASA in Austin ISD, which was titled “Significant use of AI detected in several essay submissions.” It states if you used any sort of AI service to write any portion of your Choice Essay, this goes against LASA’s Honor Code and consequences will be enforced.”
Austin ISD tells KXAN ChatGPT is blocked on all district devices and the network, but if students were using the app it would be on a personal device or personal network.
“That will always be considered cheating,” said Peter Stone, a professor of Computer Science at the University of Texas Austin. “And it will be cheating if you have a person write the essay for you or whether you have ChatGPT write the essay for you. Banning is not going to stop students from trying to pull one over on us.”
Stone said AI can be beneficial to learn.
“There are a lot of uses that have already emerged, but the world is still figuring out how it can be used,” Stone said.
In Eanes ISD, teachers are using ChatGPT for lesson planning and scheduling, but the hope is to figure out even more applications in the future.
“We value the benefit of it in the classroom we just are trying to find the right way to use it,” Benitez said.
Benitez said they do have software that can pick up on plagiarism if AI is used to write a paper.