The articles this week did not help my ever growing anxieties about AI. Alberto Romero article opened up some new avenues of anxiety. I had only thought of ChatGPT assisting human on writing, grammar, essay prompts, (bad) poetry, and then he started to list off the other AI programs being created by: google, facebook, the Beijing Academy of Artificial Intelligence (BAAI). He even went as far as claiming ChatGPT as OBSOLETE. With the speed that AI is upgraded, how far have these programs progresses since this article’s publication date (Aug 7, 2021).
It may not replace us from being writers, but the price of our work would decrease significantly, even if the value we produce is constant.Alberto Romero
This quote struck at my creative anxiety hard, (the wine im drinking isn’t helping) because if the ease of creating articles and essays with AI making established writers uncomfortable, imagine how I am feeling, a novice attempting to enter the medium of publishing my own thoughts and creative endeavors. If someone can just have AI write for them and just “edit” their voice in what chance is there for me who wants to organically create. It doesn’t help that Romero ends the article with personifying AI and suggesting that we befriend it, rather than use it sparingly or intelligently or anything other way that doesn’t attempt to give it life.
in Erik Ofgang article Free AI Writing Tools Can Write Essays in Minutes. What Does That Mean for Teachers? he directs the anxiety to the Pedagogical field, a field im reluctant to join but its not out of the question. In it he relates the usage of AI to plagiarism. Which is the right direction in my opinion, however how can you identify AI writing when its being used in conjunction with the student. Like I mentioned above, you can edit your voice in to the writings it generates. Ofgang cites an op-ed in The Guardian which suggest repositories where papers can be checked for plagiarism and restrictions and age-verification systems but these are surface level restrictions only meant to limit misuse. I can think of several way of bypassing these systems which I wont go into.
Ofgang ends the article with a AI generated passage and a comment “it may not win a Pulitzer but it’s probably good enough to get a good grade“. Therein lies the rub. Students who regularly enlist the help of AI are doing it to cut corners, to not have to do the work and just get the grade. Maybe the importance we place upon grades for accomplishing the task is to blame for this snowball turned avalanche. Students only caring about a getting passing grade rather than genuinely learning the skills necessary to writing proficiently. Who is to blame then? the students utilizing a tool, or the decades of value placed on a outdated grading system.