Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology’s popularity has been skyrocketing online as of recently. Tools such as ChatGPT and Microsoft’s Bing search engine are looking to incorporate the technology in the coming months, according to a January press release by the company.
ChatGPT started becoming the focus of some students nationwide, as it allows users to not only have their complex math problems solved, but also receive fully-written essays based on user-requested prompts to the bot. This usage in particular led some, such as The Rider News writer Felicia Roehm, to question if an AI-written essay should be considered plagiarism.
First-year Noah Garrity has concerns about AI use in academic settings. “I think it [AI] would be abused. I mean there’s certain things you can’t learn just from talking, like you need to practice writing to get good at the way you talk and the way your mind processes complex thoughts,” he stated.
“I realize already there’s certain words I’ve never learned spelled just because of autocorrect…I’m imagining having a bot write a paper has got to be even worse for people,” Garrity explained.
Another use of AI technology that has gained popularity recently is AI voice tools such as ElevenLabs, which emulate the voice of popular figures and allows users to have them “say” anything if prompted.
A Feb. 16 entry on the website Know Your Meme explains one popular use of the AI voice tool, where TikTok users depict President Biden and other former presidents as if they were gaming together.
First-year Joseph Kiniry finds the trend funny, but expressed worry about more malicious uses of the technology. “Deepfakes are scary, especially ones with the face, that’s actually scary…I mean I feel like there should be regulations against that stuff, and there probably will be sooner down the line,” he said.
“Deepfakes like that with the face and the voice could totally mess up elections and stuff like that, because some of the stuff is getting pretty convincing,” he remarked.
New York Times tech columnist Kevin Roose also has concerns about AI, particularly Microsoft Bing’s test-run of their AI tool. Roose explained that while the AI seemed benign to him at first, after attempting an extended conversation with the bot, he found that the bot expressed desires of “hacking computers and spreading misinformation.”
“It’s hard to say now because that stuff is like, we’re kind of at a point in time where…we don’t know what’s going to happen next year, it could be completely different,” Kiniry noted.
“Maybe ten years from now we could not be worrying about it at all and the technology won’t advance at all, or it could just be completely taking over everything,” he said.
Sophomore Thomas Hamilton thinks that AI technology does come with some security risks, but notes that it could be difficult to regulate. “I think it would be hard to actually regulate the usage, like people could just program that kind of stuff if they have a ton of crazy computer knowledge,” he said
“I feel like we can’t stop them but maybe we should have laws against using it [AI] maliciously,” he stated.
Hamilton, an education major, also said that ChatGPT had been a topic of conversation in one of his classes. “When it came up in my class, it was my education class, and they were talking about how you can actually set it [ChatGPT] to do a certain grade level, like add in spelling errors that look like they wrote it with mistakes and stuff too so it’s kind of like cheating the system and making it easier for students to cheat,” he explained.
According to Grand View Research, the market for AI is at the highest it’s ever been, valued at $136.6 billion as of 2022, and is only projected to continue growing. While it seems as though AI won’t be going away any time soon, what it means for Keene State students in the coming years is yet to be seen.
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