Okay, this is interesting.
A mother whose teen son struggles with a learning disability urged him to turn in an essay written by ChatGPT — and she makes a compelling case for the tech's helpfulness in that context.
Although her high school senior son was relinquished from additional support from his education system in middle school, his mother, Karen Brewer, wrote for Medium's "Illumination" vertical that nevertheless, "writing his thoughts on paper is still an extremely challenging task for him."
Imagine her shock when, after reading over an assignment he wrote, she found a "well-written and descriptive essay." While she initially suspected plagiarism, she was fascinated when he fessed up to having used OpenAI's powerful ChatGPT text generator — though not altogether surprised, given that her son has loved computers and coding since childhood.
Brewer immediately found herself "morally conflicted."
"On the one hand, I was proud of him for searching for a tool to help him complete the project," she wrote. "On the other hand, he bypassed using the skills needed to write a paper independently."
Ultimately, she decided that he should turn in the paper written by the AI, on which he got a score of 80. Brewer said that while she understood it exists in a "gray area" for educators, she sees it as something of a natural progression from the other types of tech today's students use, from digital presentations to websites like Canvas used to assign and retrieve assignments.
This honest and heartfelt essay is an interesting example of a concerned parent coming out in favor of AI assistance in education, especially for kids struggling with learning disabilities — a take that heretofore has been missing from the raging discourse surrounding ChatGPT and AI in general as the technology progresses so rapidly.
As Brewer writes, going to school today is vastly different than it was for her in the 1980s and 90s, a time when kids with learning disabilities were significantly less understood and accommodated, and all too often left behind.
"The future is here," the mother wrote. "It will be up to humans to set parameters around this type of technology."
That's a reasonable take if we've ever seen one.
More on the AI freakout: News Site Admits AI Journalist Plagiarized and Made Stuff Up, Announces Plans to Continue Publishing Its Work Anyway