Within a few months, ChatGPT has become the subject of interest, press articles or discussion: artificial intelligence software is now widely available in schools and universities, causing concern among teaching staff.
Since its launch on November 30, 2022, the tool, which summarizes texts or answers user questions in the form of a conversation, is attracting more and more young people and students. Sometimes considered more powerful than Google or Wikipedia, the software is a boon to cheating enthusiasts and bad students who use it to write homework.
ChatGPT is not taboo in the corridors of the University of Geneva. “I’ve used it before, but only to help me generalize my exam topics,” one student assures at 7:30 p.m. “In literature, first of all, we need to analyze the sources, ancient and historical texts. So, artificial intelligence will not help us much,” observes another academic perspective.
“From what I hear around, people use it mainly for inspiration,” notes another student in the corridors of his Geneva alma mater.
Inspiration: this is what a student who has just returned an academic paper written in part by ChatGPT is looking for. Since the rules of using the program remain unclear, he decided to testify anonymously.
“I don’t feel like it’s cheating. On the other hand, to explain certain concepts, we need a certain writing skill, and using it might prevent this learning because ChatGPT writes very well,” this student explains. the end of the university course, this was his first experience with the application.
The teacher was “emotional”.
ChatGPT also appeals to high school students, whose use is causing concern in schools. Some students have no qualms about using the software to inflate their results and give teachers a near-perfect job… in appearance.
“I did an English presentation on ChatGPT, zero guilt. I also had to do an introduction in French on an analysis of a passage from Moliere’s Dom Juan… I was too lazy to write three pages. To the application, the teacher was excited (sic) o o was so perfect,” admitted a teenager from Lausanne, who regularly cheats.
This young man is confident and doesn’t think he can be caught. “It’s impossible. This tool takes information from all the sites on the Internet, creates beautiful sentences, beautiful expressions, collects data, creates real things. It serves us on a beautiful plateau,” he notes in La. Before Matinale thanked Elon Musk, one of the co-founders of the startup that developed ChatGPT.
>> Also listen to the testimony of a student at La Matinale:
Controlling and training rather than banning?
ChatGPT’s appearance created gray areas that prompted New York City to ban its use in schools. No ban is currently planned in French-speaking Switzerland. Rather, the idea is to frame this experience as the University of Neuchâtel.
“If I ask students to present a piece of work, I can then accompany it with a discussion, a defense of sorts if you will. We’ll see clearly whether or not the student has mastered their subject,” replies vice president Martin Hilpert. university rector for education.
An education system that will have to adapt
The school has already faced situations in the past where it had to adapt to technological advances. Some French-language education officials draw parallels between ChatGPT and the advent of calculators, search engines and even Wikipedia. Tools that can finally be integrated into teaching.
Although many teachers are afraid of this artificial intelligence, fearing more fraud in their classes, others, like Eric Vanoncini, professor of philosophy and instructor at the media school in Geneva, have decided to use it to build their courses.
“As part of my courses, I’ve sometimes used ChatGPT’s responses to reflect on what we do in philosophy, access to knowledge, reliability of sources, and any research process,” he said.
“This could also be a potentially interesting helper. I asked him to anonymously correct one of my students’ essays. I also tried several times to ask him to prepare teaching sequences or exercises for me, ChatGPT is relatively satisfactory” , Eric Vanoncini analyzes.
>> Listen to Eric Vanoncini’s interview:
Check out the reviews
Opportunity or threat, ChatGPT is redefining the lines a few steps ahead of the educational and academic world. Some cantons do not exclude the revision of parts of the school, such as homework or assessments.
Regardless, the issue of artificial intelligence is a concern. This will be on the program of the next inter-cantonal conference on public education. A request will be sent to the Grand Council to discuss a possible legal framework in this area in the canton of Vaud.
TV subject: Hannah Schlaepfer and Theo Jeannet
Radio subject: Agnès Milot
Web adaptation: Jérémie Favre
>> Listen also to the interview with Manuel Grandjean, director of the school-media service of the canton of Geneva: