ChatGPT: The New IB Controversy

In recent months we have been introduced to ChatGPT; an online platform operating through the use of artificial intelligence. In an attempt to embrace the developing technologies, the IB has authorised the use of ChatGPT as long as it is  properly cited as a source.

The IB’s choice has been controversial as on one hand, this is a resource that should be acknowledged. On the other, how do we know on what foundation the content is being generated, if work from around the internet is being taken and altered without being properly cited? Chat GPT fails to give credit to the articles that it utilises so why should it be permitted as a valid source?

The IB has stated that by allowing the use of ChatGPT as a source they are able to minimise the probability of people taking advantage of the technology to produce their entire essay. However, the quick, effective, and usually correct responses the AI produces can have a long-term negative impact on students. They’ll lose the ability to conduct proper research,  be able to analyse the reliability and importance of sources, and develop perseverance when hitting a rough patch. 

Additionally, by allowing even just the minimal use of ChatGPT, students would quickly discover its full potential, leading to plagiarism issues and making the IB betray its own values of academic honesty. Since the IB is a stressful educational system, which causes overloads and burnouts for many of its students, issues of plagiarism would not be an uncommon occurrence.

The IB also argues that ChatGPT is “an extraordinary opportunity” and whilst this fact is undeniable, writing work should be a chance for students to create their own opportunities and display their own reflection and analytical skills; not a robot’s. 

Nevertheless, ChatGPT cannot be considered fully negative. ChatGPT and other AI technologies optimise effectiveness, help introduce us to technologies that will be present in our future, give us insights into perspectives we may not have thought of and provide a lack of bias in the responses given. 

ChatGPT allows students to optimise their effectiveness and minimise time spent completing assignments. This makes it an excellent resource as it takes away some of the strain off of students whilst allowing them to maintain a high quality of work. 

In our developing society, AI is bound to become a vital part of our future. Introducing it from a young age allows us to get accustomed to these technologies permitting us to be more effective and fluent in the use of new tools.

Finally, ChatGPT is a resource for all, as it’s able to adjust to whatever language you please, it’s completely free to use and can simplify and complicate answers at your command. This makes it a huge advantage and makes ChatGPT stand out significantly as a resource. Finding a tool that focuses on accessibility and equality is very rare in our societies. 

To conclude, there are clear negatives and positives to the introduction and application of ChatGPT in an educational environment.Nevertheless,  we believe that although it’s a great resource, its place is not with us in an exam room.