New York City schools ban use of ChatGPT — becoming first US district to block AI technology as concern over cheating and plagiarism mounts
- The NYC Department of Education is banning the use of ChatGPT on its networks and devices.
- Educators around the country have raised concern over the use of ChatGPT to cheat and plagiarize essays.
As concern over ChatGPT grows in the education sector, New York City schools are now prohibiting use of the experimental artificial intelligence bot for students and teachers.
The New York City Department of Education officially announced the ban on Tuesday, stating ChatGPT has "negative impacts on student learning, and concerns regarding the safety and accuracy of content," as first reported by Chalkbeat.
"Due to concerns about negative impacts on student learning, and concerns regarding the safety and accuracy of content, access to ChatGPT is restricted on New York City Public Schools' networks and devices," education department spokesperson Jenna Lyle told Chalkbeat.
"While the tool may be able to provide quick and easy answers to questions, it does not build critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, which are essential for academic and lifelong success."
The ban comes as educators around the country grapple with the explosion of the technology, which uses AI to generate text, and its potential for cheating and plagiarism. So far, uses for the app range include writing cover letters and school essays, to generating passing answers on Advanced Placement exams.
The NYC policy, which is being enforced in the largest school district in the nation, may set precedent for how schools opt to tackle ChatGPT monitoring moving forward. Educators across the country have said the technology has the potential to "blow up" entire writing curriculums and lead to "the end of high school English."
Using ChatGPT to cheat on academic papers has become so pervasive that a Princeton University student developed an app that determines if an essay was written using AI.
The app, GPTZero, which was launched this week by computer science student Eduard Tian, detects copy for factors like complexity and randomness. Initial demand for the app was so high that the website crashed and now directs to a beta signup page.
"Are high school teachers going to want students using ChatGPT to write their history essays? Likely not," Tian tweeted.
In December, the New York Times reported that Google declared a "code red" over the explosion of ChatGPT and the possible threat to the tech giant's search business. The Times described Google's use of a code red as "akin to pulling the fire alarm."
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