ChatGPT has been given the all-clear to be used in UK’s International Baccalaureate (IB) schools, as long as the AI is referenced. But here in Australia, things aren’t so clear.
ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence (AI) assistant that is incredibly popular right now. Developed by OpenAI, ChatGPT is a language model that can be used to write essays, marketing plans, recipes and emails, among other things.
Students have been using it to write their essays and getting busted for doing so. This has led to an outright ban of ChatGPT in some states in Australia, while other states like South Australia have met the challenge by allowing it in schools. Will this give South Australian kids an advantage when they graduate?
IB schools and AI
The IB schools in the UK say that content created by ChatGPT can be treated like any other source, as long as the attribution is there.
While most teachers are worried about how students will use ChatGPT to cheat, Matt Glanville, head of assessment principles and practice at IB, told The Times that it needs to be welcomed as an opportunity. “We should not think of this extraordinary new technology as a threat. Like spellcheckers, translation software and calculators, we must accept that it is going to become part of our everyday lives.”
Glanville also said that essay writing may feature less in future assessment thanks to chatbots. “When AI can essentially write an essay at the touch of a button, we need our pupils to master different skills, such as understanding if the essay is any good or if it has missed context, has used biased data or if it is lacking in creativity. These will be far more important skills than writing an essay, so the assessment tasks we set will need to reflect this.”
IB Schools Australasia found it hard to comment, as it will be a state-by-state approach. South Australia has been given the go-ahead, while Western Australia are a no. Australia is very undecided right now, but technology is the future, right?
ChatGPT and IB kids in Australia
So what does that mean for students of the International Baccalaureate program in Australia where ChatGPT will be allowed?
There are 215 International Baccalaureate (IB) schools in Australia. The IB is an intense educational program that offers a challenging curriculum for students, and is internationally recognised. Unofficially, it’s like normal high school, but on steroids. It aims to prepare kids for Ivy-League and other prestigious universities around the world, like the University of Oxford in the UK or Victoria’s University of Melbourne.
The IB program is offered in many private schools across Australia alongside some select public schools like Queensland Academies where the students must be part of an academic elite that passes with straight As to join.
So why does this matter when it comes to integrating ChatGPT? Because Australian recruiters are now asking for experience using ChatGPT. This means that knowledge of AI tools like ChatGPT could give students an edge in the jobs market, offering an advantage to those whose curriculums embrace the new technology.
ChatGPT and educational advantages
In conversation with The Chainsaw, Daniel Wiener, the CEO of AI-sales company Autobound, shares that the progression of AI in the workplace is inevitable.
“If schools aren’t preparing students for it, the curriculum will become more and more irrelevant. Schools are already struggling to stay relevant,” Wiener shared, giving examples of how he never learned about taxes, negotiating salaries, how to manage or prepare a resumé. “Schools will need to find ways to teach students how to usefully use AI to stay competitive in the talent market.”
Wiener says that the value add to businesses is obvious. “Humans are expensive. Therefore, automation saves money. AI is even smarter automation. Therefore, AI saves more money, that’s business 101.”
At Autobound, AI helps salespeople focus on the more strategic parts of their job, like negotiating and live conversations, while automating the time consuming, monotonous parts of the outbound sales process.
“Moving forward, the most effective sellers (who are paid the most) will know how to utilise AI tools the best.”
Should students be allowed to use ChatGPT in all schools, as long as the work is referenced? Should we embrace a future that embraces AI, rather than fight it? We’ll soon know, as the states across Australia take markedly different paths when it comes to this technology.