AUSTIN (KXAN) — Artificial Intelligence in the classroom, can it work?

As technology advances, educators are taking a closer look at AI and how the application could benefit or negatively impact those who use it.

Eric Wang, Vice President of Artificial Intelligence at Turnitin, said AI is already being used, but in the future we could see it expand and become more widespread.

“When we write emails, which everyone does including teachers and students, Gmail autocorrects your sentence for you and that is AI,” said Wang.

AI could be used for grading papers or to help plan a lesson, but some students said there could also be issues, especially when it comes to learning.

“How do we guarantee that our students are actually learning?” said Ryan Gallahger, a college senior from Minnesota. “There are certainly positives and negatives.”

If a student receives an assignment to write a paper could they just ask AI to do it for them?

“We have been hit now with systems that will generate text, will generate images and those could be potentially used by students to violate academic integrity to do things they shouldn’t do,” said Art Markman, vice provost of academic affairs at The University of Texas Austin.

With new technology, there are always concerns, but Markman said AI could also improve learning and offer even more learning opportunities to those who use it.

“But where we come down here at the university in particular is this presents a tremendous opportunity,” said Markman. “You could generate text with something like chat GBT and then analyze the audience that that text was intended for, and then ask if we wanted to aim that at a different audience- how would we do that differently.”

Wang said it could also play a part in teacher retention and reduce some of the extra work they have to finish, such as grading papers.

“I think the possibilities of this technology in improving teacher retention and improving teacher morale improving the quality of the conversations that teachers and students are having is absolutely enormous,” Wang said.

SXSW EDU 2023 has a number of discussions on AI.