ChatGPT: the antithesis of learning

Many people — college students especially — understand the dreadful feeling of having a last-minute essay due but no motivation to do it. The OpenAI system ChatGPT can complete this daunting task for you. Since its introduction, there has been concern that the application will replace students' original school work as they no longer have to write essays and complete other assignments entirely on their own. 

Using different AI technologies can be helpful and incredibly tempting at times. However, ChatGPT defeats the purpose of being a student. 

When most people attend college, they understand what they are signing up for and acknowledge their workload may be heavy. College can be overwhelming, especially when someone is just starting. Creating a new routine, living in a new place and taking challenging classes can cause students to suffer from stress.

A major aspect of college is the challenges classes, professors and assignments. However, this provides students with the opportunity to grow. Using a system that completes some of the work for you hinders this experience. 

Students should not be allowed to use the work ChatGPT generates because it is not theirs. Homework completed using ChatGPT or any other OpenAI source should be considered plagiarism. If students can get in trouble for copying themselves from an essay they wrote years ago, they should receive consequences for using work produced by AI. 

The purpose of writing assignments is to tap into a creative headspace. While it may not feel this way when writing an academic essay, students learn to think about the best way to write it and how to get the information across. This requires imagination and creativity. 

Taking away this creativity, however small and insignificant it may seem at the time of writing, and replacing it with a computer’s work should not be allowed. 

I was shocked when a guest lecturer came into one of my classes and encouraged us to use ChatGPT to help us write. I could not believe that, of all people, a professor was telling my peers to not do the work. 

Of course, not every professor will suggest we use ChatGPT. Still, having just one say we should was enough to make me think hard about whether I would personally use it. 

Millions of people use ChatGPT every day, but I do not believe I will ever join them. I can only imagine turning in work that is not mine. The guilt would eat me up inside. Even a professor encouraging me to take credit for something not entirely mine made me feel guilty. 

I, and many others, came to college to put in the work and gain the necessary skills and knowledge for a prosperous career. There is no point for a student to go to class — or even attend college — if they are going to take credit for work that is not theirs; without putting in the effort to receive the education they pay for. 

While AI technologies are advanced, they can not compare to a student's complete understanding of the assignment and the material. An assignment curated by an AI system would not be worth turning in because the work it produces will mostly fall short of the standard the professor expects. Thus, using ChatGPT could end up wasting students' time.

A student who misjudged ChatGPT's quality of work might have to go back and redo the assignment themselves, pushing them right up to the deadline or over it.

It is also unfair to professors who have to grade material that is inauthentic and not the student’s actual work. Teachers are there to help students grow and put forth their best ideas. They are unable to do their jobs properly if students are not doing theirs. 

ChatGPT also likely goes against schools' academic integrity guidelines. NAU for example values academic honesty and trustworthiness. Plagiarism, cheating and fabrication of work is considered academic misconduct. Using AI to answer exam questions or write a paper violates all three of these parameters and doing so can often result in consequences. Students should stray away from using these technologies to avoid violating academic integrity standards.

When completing assignments, using ChatGPT hinders students more than it helps them. This is especially true in the long run when people eventually realize they don't have the skills they should have learned in college. If students turn to ChatGPT, they pass up on an opportunity to learn, disrespecting their professors and ultimately, wasting everyone's time. 

Students should not be allowed nor encouraged to use AI technology to help with their assignments. Instead, students should embrace the challenge of their classes and acknowledge that growth comes from hard work.

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