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U-Turn On ChatGPT: New York Public School Dept Allow Students To Use AI Tool, Lifts Ban


New Delhi: Amid an ongoing debate on the use or adverse effects of AI-based tools and applications like ChatGPT, the New York City public school which previously went ahead to ban ChatGPT citing negative impacts on students learning and the possibility of them using the artificial intelligence for assignments and reports, have now taken a U-turn on the decision reversing the ban.

The school department previously raised concerns that the scope of assignments and homework would become ‘obsolete’ in future if the students were allowed to make use of such applications during their primary years of schooling. However, the New York City education department has now changed its stance on the issue, withdrawing the ban.

In the latest statement, the Chancellor of New York City Public Schools, David C. Banks informed that the NY City Public Schools are now ready to ‘embrace’ the software to be used by the students. As per an authored article written by Banks for an education-related website, Chalkbeats, he noted that people’s nascent fears, concerns and inhibition about generative AI overlook its potential to assist students and teachers. He emphasised the importance of understanding generative AI since students will grow up and work in a world where it plays a significant role. Banks also mentioned that some teachers have already begun teaching about the future and ethical aspects of AI.

This came after, the New York City department previously imposed a ban on the same citing that the AI-based technology would hinder the students to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, which are essential academic and life skills. They also said that the tool might provide quick resolutions and answers to the students but won’t allow them to think creatively and make use of their own ideas. NY City education department spokesperson Jenna Lyle informed Chalkbeat that ‘Citing worries about negative effects on students’ learning and concerns about the safety and accuracy of the content, access to ChatGPT is limited on the networks and devices of New York City Public Schools.’

Even as the New York City department is now looking forward to embracing the technology, users across the globe remain divided on the future of AI generative tools and their impact on human lives.

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