Why did we teach that

There is new software available it is called chatGPT and it is making some noise in the academic world. Some students are successfully using ChatGPT to write their essays. Teachers are upset and calling this cheating (which it is). There have been bans and some IT departments for school have worked to disable the use of ChatGPT on the schools WIFI (this works until the students go home).

Cheating is nothing new and the fight against cheating will continue to take place at schools all over the world. A university student at Princeton spent his spring break writing an application that spots essays written by ChatGPT as well as any other AI technology. This is a cat and mouse game the cheaters find a new way to cheat and the teachers catch on and stop one way then two new ways open up. The major difference about this new cheating, using the AI to write an essay, and the older cheating paying the nerd to do it is that AI is that the new AI is almost indistinguishable from human writing. ChatGPT has gotten that good yes.

Thinking about cheating and essay writing got me questioning AI technology and essay writing altogether. I began to wonder why teachers use essay writing at all? What is the purpose for having a student write an essay?

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When a student writes the essay they engage in critical thinking, they conduct research. Critical thinking is crucial in our daily lives and research is unavoidable. The better you are at both of these techniques the easier life will be for you. The debate rages on concerning whether or not essay writing is the best delivery method for teaching these techniques to students.

The reasons for teaching essay writing Critical thinking and research are important no doubt but is essay writing as important as it was once thought to be? Maybe teachers should write essays defending essay writing assignments. I love to ask what if? So if not an essay what should be used to teach critical thinking and research? Can the new delivery system be cheated as well? No doubt yes and cheaters will get better at cheating so I guess the real question is whta do teachers and professors prefer as a delivery system?

I am not good at writing and a slow reader however I love to do both, I imagine if I where a professor I would continue to assign essays and use the applications to check for cheating and plagiarism. Maybe as pennace for cheating I would assign a new task to the cheater. The cheater needs to write an essay explaining how the AI technology works and how they were caught. The paper will require research of the technology and critical thinking for answering the question.

Writing teaches critical thinking and is a way of engaging in what feels like intimate communication. For now most of the communication is with humans but maybe in the future our AI will engage us just a intimately as the humans do. If we cannot tell it is AI has the AI passed the Turing test?

Leisure Time

List five things you do for fun.

In 1998 Matthew Perry and Chris Farley starred in a film titled “Almost Heroes”. Matthew Perry plays Leslie Edwards an officer in the US Army who wants to beat Lewis and Clark to the Pacific coast. Leslie elicits the help of Bartholomew Hunt, a bumbling trapper, played by Chris Farley. The movie is a comedy and was blast to watch. There is a scene in the movie where Leslie Edwards asks the team, while sitting around a campfire what they do fin their leisure time. The team answers the leader and their answers are foolish and hilarious. The first thing I thought of when I read List five things you do for fun, was that scene from “Almost Heroes”, lets see what are five things I do for fun?

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  • I enjoy visiting new places with my wife “You two are always going somewhere new. That’s why we love seeing your facebook feed.” That was the comment made by my wife’s aunt at a family function. When my wife and I were dating we would go to a movie theater and buy tickets for the movie that was showing at the time we arrived. I love spending time with my wife and I love doing new and different things with her. There was recently an article published that gave the secret to slowing down our perception of time. The secret was to do new things. Who better to slow down time with than my best friend?
  • I enjoy walking my dog My dog is my second best friend and when I grab his harness and leash I can see and sense the excitement he has. I have had to use the words down boy while holding his leash more times than I can count. His joy becomes my joy and I fell the endorphins. While walking he gets to smell our neighbourhood and lall the other wildlife and I can chat with the dog listen to tunes and just relax after a day of work. Walking is also a great way to improve and maintain good health.
  • I enjoy reading Good or bad books, newspaper or magazines, Comic books or blog posts. I love reading every medium. Reading is an almost intimate act between the writer and the reader. The writer has spent time effort and thought in their writing and now I get to get a glimpse into this person or team of people’s psyche. How cool is that? It is very cool and if the story or story and art (comic book) is compelling than, I am in heaven. Reading is also very good for brain health.
  • I enjoy the theater with my wife or by myself Live theater is pretty awesome. It can be Broadway in Manhattan or the community theater at my local theater. I love seeing people perform something that they practices together> With theater you get to hear the writers voice and see the actors emotions. The movie theater is alos a favorite of mine. The movies are sanitized version of live theter though and I kind of enjoy the chaos and unpredictibality of the live shows a little more than the movies, don’t get me wrong though I will watch a movie in aecond of course.
  • Learn and do new things A project is a lot of fun. Creating something new can be thrilling. I love to learn and build new things. By things I mean every and anything. One year I built a boat out of lumber in the garage. I have written software applications for my website, computer and phone. I wrote a book. the art of creation gives you a sense of accomplishment and lets you learn new things about the world you live in and how you navigate it. Creation is fun and exciting and it also improves your health.

So there are five things I do for fun. I try to find fun in all life but if I get the chance to seek out and engage in fun in my own way on my own terms this is what I would do.