It's not just the students.
Truth or Dare
In an ironic twist on an growing trend, a high school teacher has admitted to using OpenAI's ChatGPT to help her create lesson plans.
Shannon Ahern, a 27-year-old high school math and science teacher in Dublin, Ireland, wrote in an Insider column that although she was initially "frightened" upon hearing about ChatGPT, she soon found that she has "nothing to worry about" after using it to craft lesson plans and resources for her students.
"When I first used ChatGPT, I treated it as a joke, asking it to write poems about the Pythagorean theorem and a song about math in the style of Taylor Swift," she wrote. "My students said they enjoyed them, which gave me the push I needed to keep testing it."
After experimenting with the chatbot further, Ahern said that her "productivity has gone through the roof" as ChatGPT helped her with time-consuming tasks like generating worksheets and quizzes.
Not Unemployed Yet
It's a surprising conclusion, especially considering that teachers have been chastising their students for using ChatGPT to do their homework. After all, the chatbot is far from perfect and has a strong tendency to lie or mislead.
It can't even reliably solve basic math problems.
That's, fortunately, something that hasn't flown over Ahern's head, who "noticed that ChatGPT calculates things wrong" on occasion.
"It doesn't happen often," Ahern mused, "but when it does, I would point out the error through an additional prompt, and the bot would correct it."
When it comes to the thorny issue of students using ChatGPT, the teacher was sanguine, noting that "students have always been cheating — whether that's copying a classmate's homework or getting a sibling to write an essay — and I don't think ChatGPT will change that."
Thus far, Ahern's school hasn't yet banned the use of ChatGPT, and she's hoping it stays that way.
"ChatGPT is a fantastic learning tool that students can use as a private tutor," she wrote. "We are in the generation of AI, and students need to learn how to use it responsibly."
As for the future of in-classroom teaching, Ahern believes concerns over AIs taking over our jobs are overblown.
"I don't think ChatGPT will ever replace teachers or make our jobs harder," the teacher wrote. "There will always be a need for us and the human connection that comes with in-person instruction."
More on AI pragmatism: Noam Chomsky: AI Isn't Coming For Us All, You Idiots