The News of The Blake School Since 1916

The Spectrum

The News of The Blake School Since 1916

The Spectrum

The News of The Blake School Since 1916

The Spectrum

Minneapolis


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AI Is Harmful to Students

Students+in+Mr.+Barrys+Visions+of+Realism+class+have+a+discussion%2C+a+place+where+AI+is+no+help.
Ali Hecker
Students in Mr. Barry’s Visions of Realism class have a discussion, a place where AI is no help.

“Is it convenient? Sure. But, what are we forsaking because of convenience?” Said English teacher Cory Tao. For many, ChatGPT and the ideas of generative AI were first discussed in Dec. 2022. “It was first acknowledged in English [class]..Now they are acknowledging it because it’s becoming much more widespread, there are different forms of generative AI that at times teachers can’t exactly track,” Josh Berger ‘24 said. 

Though original conversations surrounding the use of generative AI and ChatGPT were rather abstract, the gray area that remains pertinent creates unnecessary confusion over the use of generative technology that impairs the learning process of upper school students. 

Policies regarding AI throughout Blake are left largely to the agency of each department. This, I believe, is our first mistake. Though I stray from the idea that ChapGPT and AI should be wholly banned, historically banning something has only opened markets for increased and at times dangerous usage, think prohibition, and prohibits honest, reflective, and vital conversations. However, I do believe that allowing for AI to exist in some medium in the school requires the clarification of lines. Utilizing ChatGPT to source notes, edit essays, and provide quick answers to questions shouldn’t be allowed. These are shortcuts that, in my opinion, skew students’ ability to learn. While students might not have ChatGPT write an essay for them, they nonetheless are incorporating ideas that are not their own. In fact, they aren’t even the ideas of a human, they are the ideas of an emotionless robot. “People don’t even realize what they’re doing is wrong, they think ‘oh I’m only using it for ‘this,’’ but ‘this’ is the problem, and I just think people shouldn’t use it,” said Berger.

“Part of [the decision to use AI], is the choice to do so and we’ve had a lot of talk about integrity. Like, what is intellectual integrity? It’s our core value. Intellectual integrity is choosing not to take the shortcut. It’s choosing not to use Grammarly Premium because that’s generative…the integrity is the choice. You are all going to be faced with a choice and you have to make the hard choice,” said Tao. 

As I reflect on my experiences at the Upper School within the past three years, I can only think of the numerous essays I’ve stayed up painstakingly writing, the hours I’ve spent pouring over textual analysis. One example that stands out to me is an essay I wrote last year on John Donne’s poem “The Funeral.” 

Unpacking Donne’s writing was incredibly challenging, the process of pulling apart the text word by word tedious. Yet, I was left with a final product that reaffirmed my confidence in analyzing poetry and thinking critically. Had I used AI, I would have been robbed of this invaluable experience. “The stuff that we do isn’t always fun. To sit and struggle with something is uncomfortable and sometimes you have to leave it and come back to it and you get frustrated but it’s like working out a muscle: you rip it up to make it stronger. It’s the same thing with difficult skills, but you have to do the ripping. If you’re making something else do it for you, you’re not making the muscle any stronger,” said Tao.

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About the Contributors
Zoey Ueland
Zoey Ueland, Editor Emerita
Hi, my name is Zoey and I am a senior this year. Last semester, I served as the Variety Editor and I am also a Co-Editor-in-Chief. Last year I was the Student Life editor but I dabbled with other pages. Throughout my four years involved with Spectrum, having written since freshman year, I have enjoyed hearing from a wide array of voices, learning about different perspectives around Blake, and working collaboratively alongside my peers. Outside of the newsroom you can find me reading, hanging out with my friends, exploring Minneapolis and swimming!
Ali Hecker
Ali Hecker, Editor Emerita
Hi, I’m Ali and I am a senior. This is my third year on Spectrum. In the past, I have been the Opinions Editor, Student Life Editor, and the Community News Editor. My favorite part about Spectrum is getting to know more about the people in my community and being part of a team. I love pasta, reading, and hanging out with friends.

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