IB states they will not ban ChatGPT in schools

Decatur High School student pictured on the ChatGPT website home page

Decatur High School student pictured on the ChatGPT website home page

Selah Baggett

As of Feb. 23, International Baccalaureate (IB) stated that they are not banning the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) software in schools, following the release of ChatGPT. According to the official IB website, “The simplest reason is that it is an ineffective way to deal with innovation. However, the use of AI tools should be in line with the IB’s academic integrity policy.” 

IB’s expectation is that work submitted by students should not be written by the AI and submitted as their own. This being said, IB notes that AI can be used as a resource to enhance writing or other assignments as long as it is properly cited and referenced in the bibliography. 

Besides tempting academic dishonesty, AI software poses risks to content accuracy.  For example, right now, ChatGPT’s database only contains information from before 2022, and its outputs are subject to the same biases as its source material. Therefore, outputs from AI software still require human interpretation and judgment. This is something that many students will not likely consider. 

As of Mar. 27, City Schools of Decatur (CSD) have taken no steps to limit student usage of ChatGPT, and the website remains unblocked on school computers. 

The school system’s own AI filters through websites and flags code words and terms of service to determine what to block. Alternatively, teachers can also submit requests for disruptive webpages to be restricted. According to the Chief information officer of CSD Eston Melton, there have been no complaints from Beacon Hill Middle School (BHMS) or Decatur High School (DHS) about the website. 

“We’re just letting the current content filter do its thing, and as a result [the OpenAI website] is available to high school students, but blocked at the middle school,” Melton said, “The way that the website is categorized by our own AI, it drops it into a category of web service that is appropriate for grades nine and twelve, and inappropriate for grades sixth through eighth.” 

According to DHS technology specialist Jules Shelkoff, the school plans on instructing students and teachers about the proper use of artificial intelligence, particularly chatbots. This will be done through a series of mini lessons as necessary and with new developments. However, for the most part, teachers will be able to handle the AI in their own classrooms as they see fit.