The Ethics of AI: An Essay Co-Written with ChatGPT

The Ethics of AI: An Essay Co-Written with ChatGPT

Henry Kozloff, Guest Writer

The development and use of Artificial Intelligence programs like ChatGPT in the classroom inevitably raises a slew of ethical and moral questions for educators and students alike. AI has the potential to be a valuable classroom tool for tasks such as personalizing instruction and providing real-time feedback to students. However, it is important to note that AI should be used in conjunction with, rather than as a replacement for, human teachers. Additionally, ethical considerations such as privacy and bias must be taken into account when designing and implementing AI in the classroom. While ChatGPT’s offerings are compelling and can streamline the writing process, students should be limited to using AI as a supplemental tool for writing and research, rather than as a means of replacing writing altogether.

ChatGPT is able to collect data and, in seconds, distill it down to the most necessary and, most of the time, correct information. When writing a paper that requires research, ChatGPT can prove extremely useful. Similar to Google, it can be treated as a search engine. The benefit of using the AI program in place of other engines like Google or Safari is that it removes the middle step of searching through endless links in order to get information on a subject. The efficiency provided by AI is unmatched, and human error and bias is minimized as the program will only generate facts or a general consensus. However, people still worry that using an AI program will commonly provide them with incorrect information. While this is a valid worry, a quick workaround is asking ChatGPT to provide its sources where you can manually search through and fact-check the content. When I asked ChatGPT to “tell me details about World War I and list your sources,” for example, it quickly spit out a multi-paragraph summary about important events and, at the end, listed six sources that I was able to check for reliability.

AI could also be used, in some scenarios, when a writer is struggling with ideas. AI not only excels at gathering information, but it also can effortlessly list ideas related to a topic. When prompted to brainstorm body paragraphs about an essay regarding AI use in the classroom, it listed back six potential ideas in a matter of seconds. While these were very simple ideas, it allowed me to compare my own and expand or improve upon them. It is also worth noting that the clearest distinction between human writing and writing from the bot is the lack of emotion. As ChatGPT has no conscience, it has no emotion to incorporate into its responses. A sample college essay included in Daniel Herman’s article “The End of High School English” was very plain and robotic, and had no personal connections and feelings, which is a key factor in setting one person’s essay apart from the rest. ChatGPT has limitations, but if you know how to use it, and are able to write and expand upon the ideas it presents you, it can be an extremely powerful writing tool.

In some scenarios, ChatGPT could be used as training wheels for new writers. Whether looking to improve writing skills or learning English writing as a foreign language speaker, ChatGPT can aid in fundamental skill growth. The fear, however, is that a new writer would abuse ChatGPT and rely too heavily on it to write for them. I often think about children learning to ride a bike. Typically, they use training wheels until that crutch eventually slows them down; but since ChatGPT is always learning, it is unlikely to have that effect on writers, which is why I think that it is too easy to get hooked onto. Once a person masters writing and feels like they’ve hit a ceiling, it may be an appropriate shortcut to spur new ideas, but it is important to understand how and why a person is using a tool like ChatGPT so they are doing so for their long term benefit.
Along with the lack of emotion incorporated, there is an ethical dilemma in using a robot that promotes a feeling of guilt and unproductiveness. Although it can write average essays–heavy stress on the averageness–turning in an essay I didn’t produce feels morally wrong. Some, however, may be okay with this feeling, and by all means they have the option to hinder their own writing skills. A person unwilling to use the AI is setting themselves up for a more successful future as they don’t have to rely on something–or in other cases, someone–to get their work done; while a person with weaker morals, willing to use the shortcut, is cutting down their options in life by limiting their skillset. The relevancy of these skills in one’s future may be questionable, but at this point in time they are extremely important. At present, ChatGPT cannot account for tone, style, or voice. The ideas it presents are usually quite general, and are not suitable for a paper, beyond perhaps a history report, without some editing. Additionally, ChatGPT also limits creative freedom as it has the potential to create or fortify mental blocks where creativity could have otherwise thrived, especially if the user does not know how to think beyond what ChatGPT has suggested.

As Open-Source AI programs such as ChatGTP evolve and collect more data, it runs the risk of replacing writing and the development and argument of original thought altogether. Naturally, there is a lure to the ease of developing a paper that outweighs the time required to think one up on your own. This means that if we continue down this path, where programs are able to replace work that is intended to enhance your intellect and creativity, future generations will become uninterested, uninformed, and dispassionate about learning. However, if AI is taught to be a supplemental tool to bolster intellect, the future seems bright. Ultimately, I agree with the point John Spencer makes in “No, Artificial Intelligence Won’t Replace High School English”:
We shouldn’t be asking how AI will replace a way of learning, we should be asking how it can change it for the better.

We put this essay same prompt into CHATGBT, and here’s what it produced:

The Ethics of AI: Navigating the Boundaries of Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has emerged as a transformative technology with vast potential to shape various aspects of human life. However, the rapid advancements and widespread deployment of AI systems have sparked significant ethical concerns. This essay explores the ethical implications of AI, delving into the principles that should guide its development, deployment, and use.
I. Responsibility and Accountability:
As AI systems become more autonomous and capable of making decisions, questions arise regarding who should be held responsible for their actions. Assigning accountability is crucial to ensure that the benefits and risks of AI are appropriately distributed. Developers, organizations, and regulatory bodies all bear responsibility in addressing the ethical challenges posed by AI. Transparency, explainability, and rigorous testing are vital to ensure AI systems operate within defined boundaries and that accountability can be properly assigned.

AI algorithms are trained using vast amounts of data, which can inadvertently encode human biases and perpetuate discrimination. This presents a significant ethical dilemma, as AI systems may inadvertently reinforce existing societal biases, leading to unfair outcomes. Addressing this issue requires careful consideration of data collection, algorithm design, and evaluation methods to ensure fairness, equity, and inclusivity. It is essential to develop AI systems that are sensitive to diverse perspectives, avoid amplifying societal biases, and promote equal opportunities.

AI’s increasing capabilities raise concerns about privacy infringement and data security. The collection and analysis of personal data can lead to the unauthorized use or manipulation of information, potentially compromising individuals’ privacy. Safeguarding personal data, ensuring informed consent, and implementing robust security measures are imperative to protect individuals’ rights and prevent abuses. Striking a balance between the benefits derived from AI’s insights and preserving privacy is a critical ethical consideration.

As AI becomes more advanced, questions arise about the extent to which humans should retain control over AI systems. The potential for AI to outperform human capabilities may tempt us to cede decision-making authority to machines. However, safeguarding human autonomy, ensuring human values are respected, and retaining human oversight is essential to prevent undue concentration of power and preserve democratic principles. Establishing clear boundaries and guidelines for AI’s role in decision-making is crucial to maintain a healthy human-machine relationship.

AI’s rapid development has the potential to disrupt labor markets and exacerbate socioeconomic inequalities. As AI systems automate tasks previously performed by humans, questions arise about job displacement, economic inequality, and the redistribution of wealth. Ethical considerations involve exploring mechanisms such as reskilling programs, social safety nets, and policies that ensure fair economic participation and opportunities for all, even in a world increasingly influenced by AI.

The ethics of AI is a multidimensional and evolving field that necessitates careful reflection and deliberation. Striking the right balance between technological advancement and ethical considerations is crucial to harness the potential of AI for the betterment of society. Responsible development, transparency, fairness, privacy protection, human control, and addressing socioeconomic impacts are all paramount in navigating the boundaries of AI. By prioritizing ethical principles, we can ensure that AI becomes a force for good, promoting human well-being, societal progress, and a more equitable future.