ChatGPT: Filipino professors weigh in on use of artificial intelligence in schools

Rowegie Abanto, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 19 2023 07:44 PM | Updated as of Jan 19 2023 08:57 PM

MANILA — The University of the Philippines Diliman Artificial Intelligence (UPD AI) Program has condemned the reported misuse of AI tools by students in their academic requirements.

The UPD AI faculty on Tuesday condemned the use of AI-generated outputs "to misrepresent as valid scholarly works."

"Manuscripts, graphic designs, videos, computer programs and other academic requirements must be solely created by the student or group of students," it said in a statement.

On Sunday, Francisco Jayme Guiang, a professor at the University of the Philippines, shared on Facebook that one of his students might have written their final essay exam using AI.

He said he tried to run some paragraphs from his student's essay on 2 different AI detectors and "both garnered results that the samples were most likely written by AI."

"[This is] academic dishonesty," he said.

In recent weeks, educators worldwide have been alarmed over ChatGPT, an easy-to-use artificial intelligence tool that can write convincing human-like essays and answer many common classroom questions.

It sparked a fierce debate about the very future of traditional education. 

Athena Charanne Presto, who teaches political science at the Ateneo de Manila University, said it was "distressing" to learn that students were using AI to write their essays, adding it could "compromise overall learning and student-lecturer relationship" by forcing lecturers to be "stricter and less trusting of students."

"How can universities and lecturers adapt to these cases?" she said, posing a series of questions on Twitter. "Are universities compensating lecturers enough for the extra work they do to verify submissions?" 

Some professors are even reintroducing pen-and-paper exams to address the concern surrounding the use of AI.

"With the rise of AI, we have to go back to the traditional way of examinations," wrote Zuriel Domingo, who teaches history at the University of the Philippines Baguio. "Call me old school, but students should learn to think and act like rational beings, not intelligent machines."

University of the Philippines Diliman history professor Javier Leonardo Rugeria is doing the same thing. But he said this is not an "indictment of AI and technology integration per se."

"Nor do I suggest that we deny or resist it," he clarified. "It’s an irreversible development that educators will have to live and adapt with. Designing assessments integrating it is inevitable."

"Reintroducing 'traditional' methods like viva voce and pen & paper exams is a balancing act."

But for Cleve Arguelles, professor of political science at De La Salle University, the "moral panic" against ChatGPT and other similar AI tools is "just a rehash of the tiring moral panic against young people and their use of technology."

"The kids are alright— they have learned some from us but they will continue to reshape the world according to their needs and desires," he said.

"We’ve figured out a way to take advantage of tech affordances as tools to enhance the education and learning process. We can figure it out again."

While it denounced the supposed abuse of AI, the UPD AI said the use of such tools should be encouraged to facilitate students' learning.

It said open forum discussion surrounding the use of AI tools should be conducted, as well as revisiting the university's definition of academic integrity "to include AI tools in the generation of academic requirements."

Students should also be educated about the proper use of AI tools, the AI professors added, and academic requirements should be improved "to include more in-depth critical thinking, scholarly discourse, and sound judgment."

—with a report from Agence France-Presse

Editor’s note: This article has been amended to correct that Presto is teaching political science at the Ateneo, not sociology.

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