At a time when ChatGPT is having a round of conversation along with its recent incident where 400 university students in the United Kingdom are being investigated for cheating on their exams by using AI bots such as ChatGPT, it has lately pissed off various universities in India.
Indian colleges have started adopting measures to prevent students from using the chatbot for academic purposes. After institutions such as Bangalore's RV University became the first to prohibit the usage of chatbots on their networks and devices, institutions in Mumbai are also wringing their hands about how to deal with artificial intelligence such as ChatGPT due to concerns that students may use generative AI technology to submit unauthentic and potentially plagiarized work.
Jumping to ban the tool may not be the right course of action, however, education experts say: Because AI will be a part of young people's future, it must also be a part of the classroom now.
“For me as an educationist, use of technology is inevitable,” said Dr Medha Tapiawala, Dean of SNDT Women's College. "The rapid consumer adoption of this product has taken everyone by surprise, and of course [that includes] the education sector because it’s about creative content generation — whether that’s an essay, or code, or pictures, whatever."
“However, good teachers will be able to make their presence felt by using 'human sense'. When surfing engines were introduced, people mistaken it for knowledge rather than that of information. Any good teacher will be able to drill the knowledge of students for extracting learning outcomes,” stated Dr Tapiawala.
“In addition, if students are groomed to have their honesty, loyalty and the importance of hardwork, they will be sensitised enough towards 'learnings' rather than short cuts. Though, this is an optimist view, at the outset, the teaching fraternity is expected to be one step ahead of today's smart students. Like chatgpt, there will be a new search engine introduced soon to identify use of chatgpt. So, banning cha gpt is not a solution, but handling such threats together is needed,” said Dr Tapiawala.
In agreement, Neha Jagtiani, principal of RD National College, affirms that there are no plans to restrict ChatGPT as well.
"We understand that while AI can provide information and assist with certain types of problem-solving, it lacks the depth of critical thinking and creative problem-solving abilities that teachers possess," Jagtiani said.
She cited an example where the college requires research projects for a variety of courses, particularly in the final year, where students must gather data, analyze it, and provide opinions on it—all tasks that are impossible to complete using ChatGPT. “Our lecturers make sure to ask questions and assignments that cannot be answered using any chatbot as they do not have real-time information or the capacity to learn from new situations,” said Jagtiani.
“Given the plagiarism concerns, our teachers ensure that they run plagiarism tests on the work submitted by the students, especially for research projects,” she added.
"Students today are going into jobs where not everyone they work with is human," says a lecturer at Sophia College.
"There are no plans to ban chatbots at the college, but we have formed a small committee to develop a structural framework for using ChatGPT to prevent plagiarism. This committee will develop a few specific guidelines and measures for the same," the lecturer said.