ChatGPT-4o questions AI's potential in education – Deseret News

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AI research and development company OpenAI recently announced a new model of its AI program: ChatGPT-4o.

“GPT-4o ('o' for 'omni') is a step towards much more natural human-computer interaction,” OpenAI said on its website.

AI models like ChatGPT work by taking a prompt from a user and generating a response from its vast collection of internet data. More advanced models can respond to complex signals faster.

Along with the introduction of the model, OpenAI released several demonstration videos showing the capabilities of GPT-4o.

The videos highlighted the potential of AI in various scenarios, including human-like conversations, interactions between two AIs, real-time translation, interview preparation and even customer service proof of concept.

Perhaps one of the most notable features was GPT-4o's ability to serve as an educational tool.

How will AI change education?

The use of AI in education has been a controversial topic. Critics say AI can facilitate cheating and undermine students' learning abilities, leading to bans in some schools.

However, the New York Times reported on research in December that claimed these concerns were overblown. The researchers concluded that cheating in schools has not increased with the development of AI.

The New York Times reported, “In a survey of more than 40 American high schools this year, about 60 to 70 percent of students said they had recently engaged in cheating — about the same percentage as in previous years.”

GPT-4o, which is free to use, further complicates this debate, but it also offers promising possibilities.

OpenAI's demonstration of GPT-4o's educational capabilities underscores the potential for this technology to help individuals learn through personalized learning.

The demo shows a father and son using GPT-4o to solve a difficult problem. The father, a year priest at Khan Academy, instructs the AI ​​not to provide the answer but to guide his son to discover it for himself.

By sharing the tablet screen, GPT-4o engages the child with questions, encouraging him through mistakes until he arrives at the correct solution.

According to Inside Higher Ed, AI can help with a variety of educational tasks, including administering assessments, providing personalized tutoring, creating educational content and analyzing data.

These capabilities suggest a transformative potential for AI in education, promoting personalized and adaptive learning experiences.

Will AI be used in schools?

As AI technology continues to evolve, educators are exploring how to effectively integrate it into classrooms. Some schools have already adopted an approach known as “blended learning,” a hybrid of online and traditional learning methods.

Earlier this month, USA Today reported that Pease Elementary School, under Principal Micah Arrott, has embraced AI, changing their classroom dynamics and increasing student engagement.

“AI and adaptive software have completely changed our classrooms, our school climate and culture. The student engagement is absolutely phenomenal,” Arrowett told USA Today.

Even schools that have banned AI tools like ChatGPT recognize the potential benefits of future AI developments.

As previously reported by Desert News, the Jordan School District, under Superintendent Anthony Godfrey, originally blocked access to ChatGPT, but has since added School AI, an AI-based learning platform. has made it available in 67 of its schools.

SchoolAI aims to support teachers by providing content tailored to each student's needs.

Caleb Hicks, founder of SchoolAI, told Desert News, “While many school districts have banned ChatGPT, we have found that they are eager to adopt SchoolAI in their classrooms when they have a See an AI-powered interface that enables teachers and students to connect with each other, with daily check-ins, tailored tutoring, simulations, and games tailored to each student's interests and skill level.”

Will AI replace teachers?

The rise of AI in education raises concerns about whether it can replace teachers.

This anxiety extends beyond education, as some worry that AI could take over jobs in programming, the arts and other fields. According to the Associated Press, the 2023 writers' strike highlighted concerns that one of their biggest disputes is how to protect their jobs from AI.

However, educators and AI developers emphasize that existing AI models cannot replace teachers and are, instead, a tool that can be used to enhance their effectiveness. For example, School AI aims to help students stay engaged and productive during moments when their teachers aren't available, as previously reported by Desert News.

Hicks said the goal of school AI is to facilitate better connections between students and teachers, not to replace teachers.

Godfrey said, “Teachers can never be replaced. The teacher-student relationship is essential. School AI augments this as an effective teacher support and student tutor.”

While others believe AI models will one day be more central to education than traditional teachers, most simply say the future is uncertain. Schools will continue to adjust their approach to AI models, as companies like OpenAI continue to adjust the models themselves.

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