OpenAI—the company behind ChatGPT—is exploring ways for its popular generative artificial intelligence platform to be used in schools, according to Reuters, marking a new undertaking for the company that’s been criticized by some educators for enabling cheating.
Brad Lightcap, chief operating officer for OpenAI, said at a San Francisco conference last week that the company will likely create a team next year that will solely look into ways artificial intelligence can be used in education, Reuters reported.
Lightcap said at the conference that “most teachers are trying to figure out ways to incorporate (ChatGPT)” into how they teach, and that OpenAI is “trying to help them think through the problem.”
Artificial intelligence—and ChatGPT, specifically—have been criticized in the past for making it easier for students to cheat, even being banned by some schools and districts earlier this year.
85%. That’s how many students—out of those who were able to compare human tutoring to using AI—said ChatGPT was more effective than working with a real person, according to Government Technology.
ChatGPT was released mid-school year last November, and districts nationwide almost immediately began banning the generative AI platform out of cheating concerns. Students are able to use generative AI platforms to write essays and complete homework, though it wasn’t hard to catch, according to the New York Times, because of AI being in early stages and still “hallucinating,” or making things up. On Dec. 12, 2022, the nation’s second-largest district, Los Angeles Unified School District, became one of the first to block the site to “protect academic honesty,” though at the start of a new school year it introduced its own education-specific AI bot called “Ed” in about 100 schools, Politico reported. Other districts that banned it or limited access to the site included New York City Public Schools and schools in Montgomery County, Alabama. Since the release of ChatGPT, though, OpenAI has worked to show its value in education. In the fall, OpenAI and nonprofit Khan Academy announced a partnership to create an “AI-powered assistant” available to Khan students that works as “both a virtual tutor for students and a classroom assistant for teachers.”