ChatGPT creates controversy within Dulaney High School

Mariana Rosenstiel, Staff Writer

On Nov. 30, 2022 OpenAI released ChatGPT, an easily-accessible chatbot that answers written questions using human speech patterns, effectively creating an easy way for students to cheat. 

Why is ChatGPT so popular? What makes it different? ChatGPT writes human-like responses that range from college essays to song lyrics. According to Forbes, the software contains large language model technology (LLM), which allows ChatGPT to learn from its users. However, LLM is not the only feature that makes ChatGPT so special– it is also completely free. 

Drawing millions of students to the site, many educators are becoming increasingly worried about the potential of ChatGPT cheating. Ms. Fair, a chemistry teacher at Dulaney High School, believes that the AI program can be fun for students outside of school. But within school, her opinions differ.

Ms. Fair says, “the point of doing assignments in school is to show what your opinion is, not just some computer system.”But even though ChatGPT use can result in suspension and even expulsion, students continue to use the software. An anonymous student at Dulaney High School admitted to using ChatGPT because of the “quick intellectual information” and “specific and straightforward information” it provides. 

Although ChatGPT has been castigated for giving students easier access to cheating, some teachers like Ethan Mollick, an associate professor at Wharton School, embrace the program. Mollick is “not only allowing his students to use ChatGPT, they are required to,” according to NPR.

This outlook is a stark contrast to BCPS policy, where ChatGPT is blocked on school networks and devices. Yet, BCPS restrictions are easy to bypass. Some students have personal phones, computers and tablets; all means to gain access to ChatGPT. This makes the BCPS blockage of ChatGPT highly ineffective. As of now, It remains to be seen whether school policies will change in regards to ChatGPT.