Artificial vs Authentic

Need to lose weight? Substitute artificial sweetener for sugar.

Knee joint all played out? Get an artificial joint.

Can’t afford a real leather coat? Buy a less expensive faux leather coat.

Don’t have enough cash? Manufacture some counterfeit bills.

Need an A on your essay, but hate writing and don’t want to take the time to do it? Get an essay from ChatGPT!

Whenever we substitute artificial for authentic, we pay a price: many artificial sweeteners have harmful effects, artificial joints require a grueling surgery and recovery process, faux leather has less integrity, counterfeit money comes with the risk of sporting an orange jumpsuit while eating from a cardboard tray.

But what about ChatGPT? From what I’ve read, this “tool” produces an essay on any topic, complete with sources and citations! As a bonus, it is resistant to plagiarism checkers. What more could we ask for?

Well, believe it or not, to counteract the use of ChatGPT in the classroom, there is also a “tool” that distinguishes between artificial intelligence generated writing and human generated writing. Think about that a minute. There is an artificial intelligence tool that identifies an artificial intelligence tool. Wow!

I don’t know about you, but this is getting ridiculous! Why are we not using our natural intelligence to realize that students should focus on developing their thinking: solving problems using their own brains, drawing conclusions, synthesizing information, and distinguishing between fact and opinion, truth and propaganda?

It is my fear that our students are choosing easy, cheap, artificial and fast methods of completing work over authentic learning, and they have been doing so for decades, many times with the approval and even help from their parents.

Are we truly prepared to reap the results, to suffer the consequences of generations of young people who have academic prowess based on their ability to use artificial intelligence? It is my personal opinion that there is a high price to pay when GPA’s take precedence over cultivating a solid and honorable work ethic.

With so many “tools” available to aide students in their leap over the learning process to a diploma with “honors,” even the word, “honor” has become artificial. Today’s tangled mess of artificial intelligence and authentic intelligence makes it nearly impossible to recognize the difference.

Call me old-fashioned, out-of-touch, or just plain old, but I prefer authentic over artificial.

(Image Source: beyond!)

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