A longtime university president and writing expert advises against banning the new AI bot — but to use it to teach more effective thinking that is purely human A Writer's Resource, my co-authored college writing textbook, is about to be published in its seventh edition. While putting the finishing touches on the Instructor's Manual, we decided to stop the presses from including guidance on the classroom use of ChatGPT, the artificial intelligence bot created by OpenAI, ready and able to write five-paragraph themes on just about anything. I am not in favor of banning ChatGPT. In fact, for decades, I've been trying to ban the five-paragraph theme from high school and college instruction. Why? The five-paragraph essay is useless. No one writes essays or reads them in the world beyond the classroom. Meaningful writing must have purpose, voice, and intended readers. I signed up again with first-hand knowledge of what ChatGPT can do. I tested a typical February classroom assignment: Write an essay arguing that the State of the Union address is a significant moment in a U.S. presidency. In seconds, ChatGPT generated a five-paragraph essay with correctly structured sentences and basic information on the purpose of the State of the Union address. I then asked ChatGPT to give me historical examples of important State of the Union speeches and got Franklin Roosevelt's “Four Freedoms,” Lyndon Johnson's “Great Society,” and Ronald […]
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