22nd May 2023
You can’t stop the tide-the rise of AI
By Patricia Moores

How ChatGPT is changing Education forever…

ChatGPT and its newer iteration Chat4 are already changing the world. Italy has banned the software, citing privacy concerns and many top Universities in the UK including Oxford and Cambridge have banned use of ChatGPT 

The reality is stopping AI like ChatGPT feels like trying to stop the tide coming in, what politicians and educators alike would probably better focusing on is how best to embrace the technology and trying to influence its further development.

There is no doubt that tools like ChatGPT will remove many thousands, if not millions of jobs from the global economy, but it will create demand for new jobs and also increase demand for existing jobs, like data analysts. Additionally, human skills will be in demand like never before and critical reasoning will be a vital skill everyone will need to hone, if only to understand how to critically appraise the data delivered by AI tools like ChatGPT.

For example, as Kim Round (Assoc Dean in the Teachers College at Western Governors University) an ex engineer points out: 

“We’re seeing inaccurate information generated from ChatGPT when the prompt is too broad…Therefore, the tool’s usefulness and accuracy are highly dependent on the human partner’s ability to speak to the machine. This will be a skill I anticipate we’ll all need to develop, like how we learned to use search engine queries.”

How higher education, not renowned for its speed of change, responds to these new challenges will be critical in terms of teaching the skills and competencies that will be needed in this new AI dominated world.

As for detecting use of the tool, Turniton has now produced a tool it says can (in most cases) detect use of ChatGPT, but it is hard not to think that the use of tools like ChatGPT will become ubiquitous and so detecting use will be a bit pointless.

And whilst many top UK Universities have, for now, banned ChatGPT, some professors are seeing the value of the tool and are starting to embrace its use. For example, University College London has updated its website to provide guidance to students on how to use ChatGPT to help them write bibliographies, acknowledgements and references. On its website, the university said: “We believe these tools are potentially transformative as well as disruptive.”

What is certain is that this is only the start of the change and no one should be complacent about the further development of tools like ChatGPT. The resignation of Geoffrey Hinton, who has been called the ‘godfather of AI’, from his role at Google recently highlights the challenges this new technology poses. In a tweet Hinton said he left Google so he could speak freely about the risks of AI, rather than because of a desire to criticise Google specifically.

“I left so that I could talk about the dangers of AI without considering how this impacts Google,” Hinton said in a tweet. “Google has acted very responsibly.”

Nevertheless, governments and educators alike are rightly worried about the future and whilst the current iterations of AI may be able to be absorbed into current styles of pedagogy, it is hard to see where this technology may ultimately lead governments and educators.

In the wake of warnings from the likes of Hinton and Elon Musk, TeachAI has been set up. It is a partnership of major education groups including the World Economic Forum, National Association of State Boards of Education, National School Boards Association, Code.org, Educational Testing Service, Khan Academy and ISTE…education ministries including those in Brazil, Germany, Kenya, Malaysia, South Korea and the U.K.; and tech companies building AI tools, including Amazon, Microsoft, and OpenAI, the maker of ChatGPT…

The group plans to produce reports and guidelines for using AI in education; make policy recommendations for incorporating AI in school curriculum standards, courses, tools, assessments, and professional learning; and establish a global framework for computer-science curriculum that includes AI.


For now, the most useful advice would seem to be; see the positives in the current tech, embrace it, focus on developing skills that will be needed in an AI world and get involved in the debate about where it is going before it decides for us…

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Article published in full here in the HK Standard