Tuesday, May 21, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

AI in education: A blessing or a boomerang?

While AI has great potential, its misuse could easily result in the underdevelopment of students

Update : 19 Apr 2024, 10:23 AM

Artificial intelligence, a major pathway towards the fourth industrial revolution, is being used to ensure the promptness of education. Education is incorporating AI technologies to make the stakeholders capable of adapting to the fast-growing industries and educational fields. To save time, create quality content, and make things rational, educators now use AI tools a great deal. However, the discussion remains unconcluded over whether the extensive use of AI has strengthened or diminished their credentials.

The purpose of tests, assignments, and reflection work is to assess students' critical thinking abilities. Students are meant to gain some insight from theory and practical classes, and the purpose of reflective work is to ascertain how the students have understood it. It is harder to assess student’s comprehension levels if they apply AI assistance. Furthermore, students do not bother to take some time and think of a solution. 

In the worst case, students with below-average comprehension capacity, still try to come up with ideas when they get assigned a reflective task or face an online test. The goal is not to make the students score high grades, but to make them utilize their critical thinking ability. The notion of bolstering their ideation process is hampered enormously when they do not bother to use their brain.

Starting with ChatGTP, one of the most popular and impressive AI tools, the quality of its output depends on the accuracy of the directions that were given to it. It responds more acutely when given more detailed instructions. But it is becoming exceedingly challenging to identify the output generated by an AI tool such as ChatGTP once it is given instructions to generate an answer with a more humanistic approach. For instance, there's a chance that even the AI detection software could become perplexed if you ask ChatGTP to create a 500-word assignment on the benefits and drawbacks of the national education policy and provide additional instructions to maintain the output's human-written tone. 

This is the exact loophole the students are exploiting for their personal benefit. According to research conducted on the students of Stanford University, 17% said they had used ChatGPT on assignments or exams at the end of 2022. This is where the problem lies.

This undoubtedly creates frustration for the students who try to showcase their abilities but cannot compete with the pace that AI technology users already have

Slides AI is another groundbreaking AI tool used for making presentation slides. Unlike text generators, Slides AI incorporates designs, images, colours, various fonts and more. Crafting visuals necessitates a broad spectrum of creativity, involving considerable time to master colour contrasts, select appropriate visuals, and format effectively. AI tools like Slides AI diminish the opportunity for students to employ their creative faculties fully, as the intricate process of visual design is streamlined by automation. 

The most unfortunate part is not about compromising the creativity or critical thinking of the students, it is about the students who observe others exploiting AI tools to get high results in tests. In my last semester, I was checking the assignments that my students had submitted. A large portion of my students used ChatGTP to complete their assignments, while several of them made a genuine effort to be unique and wrote on their own. Nevertheless, both categories of students scored good marks as the AI-detecting software is still not reliable enough to identify the percentage of AI-generated texts. This undoubtedly creates frustration for the students who try to showcase their abilities but cannot compete with the pace that AI technology users already have. It is an unfair competition. 

In a recent interview, Serajul Islam Choudhury, emeritus professor at University of Dhaka, said AI could be more dangerous than a nuclear bomb. With no doubt, AI has a tremendous positive impact on education. But once the cycle of misuse starts, is there any way to stop it? I suppose not quite yet. 

ASM Kamrul Islam is a Lecturer, Green Business School, Green University of Bangladesh. Email: [email protected].

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