The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


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AI: Yay or nay?

Ethical student AI usage should be taught and embraced
George Pak
Three students sit on a desk working on assignments. With AI being an easily accessible tool, it is important for students to understand it’s proper usage in regards to schoolwork.

Hours pass, and the blinding-white, blank page mocks you. The early hours of the day have now turned into night, and the clock ticks painstakingly closer to the deadline. But you know that there is someone—something—that can assist in completing your tasks with ease. The only question is, “How should you use it?”

The term “Artificial Intelligence” (AI) refers to any type of technology with the capability of mimicking human intelligence (e.g. speech recognition, decision-making, and pattern identification), and it is now encroaching upon nearly every aspect of our daily lives. With the AI market quickly amassing a worth of $136.55 billion, it is evident that the proliferation of AI has an impressive impact on current society. While it is true that this newfound technology has the potential to spur unprecedented advancements and innovations in industries across the globe, its usage within an educational setting remains a heavily debated topic.

Jefferson students have maintained academic success during both their elementary and middle school years—with the incoming class maintaining near-perfect GPAs averaging at approximately 3.9 annually. However, students often find the transition to Jefferson difficult, as many strive to achieve the same level of success despite the school’s rigorous curriculum and coursework. As students often have to complete large and time-consuming assignments (e.x. English essays), AI-generated content becomes an increasingly enticing option due to its quick accessibility and potential to earn high point values. This practice may reduce the heavy workload already shouldered by students, but it parallelly hinders the quality of the content produced.

AI may be able to form coherent sentences, but it cannot yield the unique insights that can only be provided by human analysis, and delivers a bland product, with a highly formulaic writing style. In addition, a student’s sole reliance on AI both undermines the learning process and allows plagiarism concerns to arise, which only hinders the current and future academic progress.

However, as AI continues to become an increasingly commonplace tool in our society, school systems must be able to effectively adapt to the fact that students can easily access this technology, and recognize the benefits it provides.

Similar qualms arose following the introduction of calculators into classrooms. While it was a controversial topic then, calculators are now necessary in the majority of math classes provided in middle school and beyond. Calculators are now used as tools to allow students to progress at a faster rate rather than hindering student aptitude. Likewise, AI is an asset that schools should embrace the ethical usage of, educating students on how to use it to further their learning. As Jefferson is a school of science and technology, it is important for students to develop an understanding of the ethical usage of AI, as many, if not all will work with or further the advancements of this tool.

Technologies such as ChatGPT can allow students to easily understand complex concepts, creating personalized and adaptive learning experiences, tailored to each student’s needs and learning pace. Expanding beyond a school environment, generative AI is a valuable asset in a professional setting, as it is currently being used for tasks ranging from simple customer service to data analytics and development. With the correct instruction, students can learn to thrive in their respective fields, using AI as the tool that it was meant to be rather than a crutch. For example, it can be used to identify and explain grammatical errors, create study material based on individualized needs, and accelerate the research process for assignments, adding to a student’s knowledge rather than acting as a substitute for learning.

In this ever-changing and evolving world, AI has set its roots. Harnessing safe and ethical usage of this tool will serve students greatly as they progress beyond their academic careers and into the workforce.

AI is a powerful asset, but cannot substitute for human expression and learning. Keeping this in mind, it is a tool that must be used for progress, and educators must proceed by guiding students in the judicious usage of AI, using it to enhance learning rather than replicating it entirely.

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