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“Absurd” to ban generative AI from classrooms

Banning the use of ChatGPT and similar generative AI technologies in the classroom is “absurd”, according to a leading professor from The Wharton School in the US.

Jerry Wind (second from left) was speaking at Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi. Photo: QS Reimagine Education

The paradigm is shifting away from teacher centric education to a learner centric education

Speaking at the Reimagine Education conference in Abu Dhabi, Jerry Wind said schools should not ban the use of generative AI, but integrate the technology into programs.

Educators should start assessments by asking students to identify the generative AI platform they want to use and adapt their evaluations to test skills.

“Students should focus their attention of how do you [use] it, which allows you to evaluate their cognitive skills and how do students improve on it, which allows you to evaluate their creative skills,” the Lauder professor emeritus and professor of Marketing at The Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania said.

“That’s the way in which you’ve got a mandate almost from day one, the effective use of the new tool and measuring what really counts, their ability to evaluate it and improve it.

“This follows the general philosophy on how do we use this new tool effectively as opposed to being afraid of it.”

The New York City public school system said earlier this year it would ban ChatGPT due to concerns around safety, accuracy, as well as plagiarism.

Wind, who has been referred to as the marketing strategist’s strategist by Marketing Week, also suggested that the role of teachers needs to adapt as AI becomes more common in the classroom.

The paradigm is shifting away from teacher centric education to a learner centric education with advanced conversational AI, he said.

“What if every learner can have access to any topic they want on their smartphone in today’s environment, 24/7 in any language they want to and in any forum?

“How do we use this new tool effectively as opposed to being afraid of it?”

“To achieve this level, you need to partner with universities on specific topics, the university teaches the AI the content, how to teach the content and how to evaluate it, [but] the role of the faculty is no longer the source of knowledge.

“The role of the faculty become that of a mentor, motivator and is helping the student implement the knowledge.

“That’s a totally different reality of education. It’s an advanced flipped classroom where the students can have totally personalised education with their smartphone.

“The gathering [of students] is primarily focusing on the implementation and the challenges of implementation, without requiring to meet twice a week.”

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