artificial intelligence, Teachers, Educators

AI Integration In Education Sparks Ethical Debate Among Educators

A debate among educators has started on whether using AI to create assignments and grade tests and papers is ethical.

The increased integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into education, particularly in the grading of essays, has sparked an ethical debate among educators. While some hail AI as a tool for streamlining grading processes, others raise concerns about its impact on personalized feedback and ethical considerations surrounding student work, according to CNN.

Diane Gayeski, a professor at Ithaca College, utilizes AI to assist in grading essays. Gayeski emphasized the importance of discussing AI-generated feedback with students to foster a deeper understanding of their work.

“The best way to look at AI for grading is as a teaching assistant or research assistant who might do a first pass … and it does a pretty good job at that,” Gayeski told CNN.

A report by Tyton Partners indicates a significant uptick in AI usage among both students and faculty members, with tools like ChatGPT and Microsoft CoPilot becoming increasingly prevalent in educational settings. However, the lack of clear guidelines for teachers using AI raises ethical questions about the integrity of grading processes and the potential exploitation of student work.

According to Dorothy Leidner, a professor of business ethics at the University of Virginia, the ethical use of AI depends on the context and nature of the assessment. While AI may excel in grading tasks with clear right and wrong answers, Leidner advocates for human involvement in assignments requiring subjective evaluation.

“A teacher should be responsible for grading but can give some responsibility to the AI,” Leidner said.

Leslie Layne, a writing workshop instructor, has concerns about the ethical implications of uploading student work to AI platforms without adequate consent, particularly for scholarly endeavors like dissertations. Layne stressed the importance of preserving the teacher-student relationship and respecting intellectual property rights.

Recently, the government had to issue regulations on using AI. The regulations require federal agencies to appoint key personnel, including a chief artificial intelligence officer, to oversee AI implementation. Additionally, nearly 100 professionals will be hired during summer 2024 to bolster the AI workforce.

Vice President Kamala Harris, who championed the regulations, and President Joe Biden intend for these policies to set a standard for global AI governance. Agencies must implement safeguards by Dec. 1 to assess, test, and monitor AI impacts. Failure to comply will result in the cessation of AI use unless deemed essential for agency functionality.