The American Federation of Teachers is partnering with the AI ​​identification platform, GPTZero

The second largest teacher union in the United States has partnered with a company that can record when students use artificial intelligence to do their homework.

The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) recently signed an agreement with GPTZero, an AI identification platform that makes tools that can identify ChatGPT and other AI-generated content to help educators curb, or at least keep track of, students’ dependence on new technology.

“ChatGPT can be a really important adjunct and adjunct to educators if the guardrail is in place,” AFT President Randi Weingarten told CBS MoneyWatch. “And the guardrail has to be about privacy and security and things like that.”

Working with AI, not against it

There is undoubtedly a place for AI in the classroom, according to Weingarten.

“We believe in its potential, and we know that if we don’t guard against its dangers in advance, we will repeat the terrible transitions that happened with the industrial revolution,” she said.

Products like those provided by GPTZero will help educators work with, not against, generative AI, to the benefit of both students and teachers, in Weingarten’s view. “You can’t stop technology and innovation. You have to ride it and take advantage of it, and that’s what we talk to our members about,” she said.

GPTZero, a 15-person company co-founded by recent Princeton graduate Edward Tian, ​​has developed tools for people in the front and back of classrooms.

“We are committed to jointly figuring out the applications of AI in classrooms and building GPTZero to be the best educational solution for teachers and students to collaborate together to adopt AI,” Tian told CBS MoneyWatch.

Free versions of GPTZero products are available. The teacher’s union pays for access to more tailored AI detection and certification tools and assistance.

Use AI responsibly

GPTZero, which was developed in January to scan text for AI input, has since launched new tools, including one that allows students to certify their content as human and openly disclose when they use AI.

“A big goal for us is to demonstrate that the use of artificial intelligence in education does not have to be adversarial,” Tian said. “In January, when everything started, there was the mentality that it took the plagiarism model of copying and pasting content, which is not the right framework here.”

Ultimately, Tian said, he wants to help teachers and students work together to get the most out of cutting-edge AI technologies while reducing their potential to do harm. “We’re working with teachers to figure out where AI fits into education. We want to empower students to use AI responsibly,” Tian said.

Weingarten also sees benefits of AI for teachers. First, she said, educators are not Luddites and are already adept at using tech tools in classrooms.

“It can greatly reduce paperwork, bureaucratic burdens, and it can help in writing lesson plans,” she said of AI technology. “I think there’s huge potential here, but we have to be sober about it. We can’t pretend it’s a panacea, but have to hope and push for the kind of ethical rules that are needed, for that it does not destroy.”

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