The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

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As AI grows, we should learn to utilize it productively

As+AI+grows%2C+we+should+learn+to+utilize+it+productively
Hagar Al-Hadhrami

As high school students, we are immersed in a constantly evolving world. Our generation has been the first to grow up in the era of social media and widespread internet use, which we have come to deeply understand the benefits and consequences of. However, in recent years, we have been presented with a different kind of technological tool, a kind that has the power to change our lives: AI. 

The role of AI in the classroom has already been widely debated in academic institutions around the globe. As students, we have witnessed its capabilities in our everyday lives. However, the presence of AI in the classroom has proven to be challenging, as cheating with the assistance of sites like ChatGPT has increased. But does this mean we should eliminate AI from academics altogether? I do not think this has to be the case. 

I understand it is a lot to ask that all 2000 students of Jackson-Reed maintain academic integrity when it comes to the use of AI, but hear me out. We have grown up with the internet, relying on it to fuel much more of our everyday rituals than we might realize. So it is understandable that when presented with a tool that will write an essay, we would utilize it. After all, the whole point of technology is to make our lives more efficient. But when it comes to AI, we can no longer take the easy way out. 

Unlike other forms of technology or software, AI can be relied on to do a multitude of jobs. It has been especially pressing in 2023, playing a big role in the SAG-AFTRA writer’s strike. While that is the professional world and we are in high school, our use of AI not only says a lot about who we are but impacts our education. If we rely on AI to do everything for us, the chances that we are going to truly learn become much smaller. 

AI is powerful, but can students be trusted to responsibly use that power? Say, for example, you are writing an essay and have complete and total writer’s block. Is it okay to use AI to get your ideas flowing? If you are working on a history project and need to find examples of revolutions outside of what was taught in the classroom, can you ask ChatGPT? There are a multitude of ways we can use AI to assist us that are much different from full-on cheating. After all, this use of AI is not that different from regular internet research, something students are heavily encouraged to do.    

Many people, including teachers and parents, will argue that this usage is still not appropriate in an academic environment, and while they may have a point, it is naive to think we can continue to ignore the potential AI. If we were to find ways to normalize its use in academics and clearly outline the limits of what it can and cannot do, it might change the student cheating environment. Furthermore, if AI became a conventional learning resource, students would be less inclined to use it for cheating. We may not be ever fully able to stop cheating altogether, but that does not mean we should abandon a potentially life-changing tool.

We didn’t ask to grow up in the age of technology, but it has become a part of our generational identity. It is hard to accept change, but we are growing along with the world. We cannot let the expectations and norms of the past define how we continue to learn. As we become adults and go out into the world, being raised in the age of AI can teach us important life skills about responsibility and how to use technology without compromising integrity.

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About the Contributor
Devan Mehta
Devan Mehta, News Editor
Devan is the person on the Beacon with the best hot takes, which ultimately is why she is one of the fabulous opinion editors. She does theater, choir, and Bollywood dance but manages to still be opinionated in all of those things! You will often find her reading a romance novel, watching the Baltimore Ravens, or doing both at the same time. She also would give Taylor Swift literally any of her organs if necessary.
  • 2021-23: Junior Editor
  • 2022-24: Opinions Editor
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