NYC schools block ChatGPT, fearing negative impact on learning

Enlarge / AI-generated image of a kid using a computer. (credit: Ars Technica)

New York City Public Schools have blocked access to OpenAI’s ChatGPT AI model on its network and devices, reports educational news site Chalkbeat. The move comes amid fears from educators that students will use ChatGPT to cheat on assignments, accidentally introduce inaccuracies in their work, or write essays in a way that will keep them from learning the material.

ChatGPT is a large language model created by OpenAI, and it is currently accessible for free through any web browser during its testing period. People can use it to write essays, poetry, and technical documents (or even simulate a Linux console) at a level that can often pass for human writing—although it can also produce very confident-sounding but inaccurate results.

Per Chalkbeat, NYC education department spokesperson Jenna Lyle said, “Due to concerns about negative impacts on student learning, and concerns regarding the safety and accuracy of content, access to ChatGPT is restricted on New York City Public Schools’ networks and devices. While the tool may be able to provide quick and easy answers to questions, it does not build critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, which are essential for academic and lifelong success.”

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