"We have a lot of teachers who are using the program and are very excited about it."

Class Clowns

It's no secret that students often use ChatGPT to complete assignments and write essays.

But now, in a bizarre inversion, their teachers are also getting a leg up from AI to grade their work.

As Axios reports, a new software called Writable is allowing teachers to use AI to evaluate papers, which the company says saves "teachers time on daily instruction and feedback."

It's a bizarre new chapter in our ongoing attempts to introduce AI tech to almost every aspect of life. With both students and teachers relying on deeply flawed technology, it certainly doesn't bode well for the future of education.

GPTeacher's Pet

Last summer, Writable was bought by HMH, a company that produces teaching materials for around 90 percent of K-12 schools in the country, per the report.

"We have a lot of teachers who are using the program and are very excited about it," CEO Jack Lynch told Axios.

The tool works by having teachers upload student essays, which are then run through ChatGPT, which can offer comments and observations.

This feedback is then supposed to be vetted by teachers — but whether this critical last step actually takes place is anybody's guess.

However, Lynch argues that the company is employing a "human in the loop" approach.

"In this case, it's a teacher that's in the loop before any of the content or feedback goes back to the student," he told Axios.

Grade A

It's an especially interesting development, given how software has struggled to reliably tell if a given submission was written by a human or AI. Detection software has historically failed to tell the two apart, with OpenAI infamously giving up on its efforts to develop such a tool.

Having AI tech involved in both writing and grading assignments may further blur these lines.

That's not to mention the possibility of teachers over-relying on these tools, which could leave students shortchanged.

The US has long had an obsession with standardized testing, which according to critics has failed to meaningfully address the social and emotional needs of students.

By further distancing students from teachers with the use of AI tools, chances are that the situation could worsen over time.

And to many teachers, who want their students to succeed in the real world, relying on AI is simply not enough.

According to Lynch, Writable is looking to give teachers their "time back to reallocate to higher-impact teaching and learning activities."

But given the historically underfunded schools, filled with overworked teachers across the US, Writable is likely only a bandaid solution for much deeper, systemic issues.

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