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New Questions about AI in Education

I've been having a lot of conversations with various people about AI in education. There are so many things to discuss! I've personally been thinking about it probably a bit too much. Some of the topics that have come up in these discussions, and in my own thinking, are things I previously had not considered. In no particular order, here are a few: 1 - Students get scholarships mostly due to three factors; need, performance and essays. If the need and performance bars stay the same, the differentiator is essay writing. What happens to the competitiveness of obtaining a scholarship when almost overnight everyone and anyone can up their essay quality dramatically? I can tell you after having been on a scholarship committee for years that the gap in quality for essays can be very broad. I suspect this will change and change fast. 2 - Graduation and completion rates are a big deal to universities. Funding and fundraising are usually tied to these two metrics. In some institutions, the majority of their funding and fundraising are tied to these outcomes. Many argue that this should in fact be the case. Regardless of your view on how funding happens, if AI helps students get better grades, finish faster, or finish at all, those numbers go up. Is there a perverse incentive here for administrators and others to look the other way? The more students they graduate and the faster they graduate them, the more funding they get and/or have access to. 3 - What rules, if any, should teachers be operating under in terms of how they use AI? In the creation of assignments and lectures, how do they use these tools? How do they cite them? Do they? In grading work I have the same question. If a teacher has 50 assignments that are all pretty much identical in their answers, is there a concern (ethically, professionally or otherwise) if the AI does the grading it was taught to do by the teacher? 4 - If students learn to leverage AI in a way deemed acceptable by their college of choice, can they take significantly more hours? Will it spur students who had previously stopped taking classes to come back and finish? Can it encourage students that might not have come to college at all to now do so because they think they can manage it better? Are any of those bad things? So many questions! More to come ...

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