Learning to write trains your imagination to construct the person who will read your words. As the first student papers of the academic semester come rolling in, college and high-school teachers are expressing concern about ChatGPT, the artificial intelligence interface that responds to queries with competent, if boring, paragraphs. It opens up whole new vistas of academic dishonesty, and it questions how and why we teach writing. A professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School has said that ChatGPT's answers to his operations-management class would have earned a B or B–. That seems about right; if a student in my first-year writing class had turned in a ChatGPT-generated essay last semester (and for all I know, someone did), they would have easily passed. The fact is, boring competence is better than what some high-school or college graduates attain, and it's all most people in their daily lives need their writing to be. If, in a few years, AI can do a passable job at most adult writing tasks—sharing information, telling quick stories, apologizing for the delay, and expressing a hope that all is well—then why spend so much time in school learning the maddening complexities of English prose? Surely there are more important things to study than subject-verb agreement, comma splices, and transition sentences. But learning to write is about more than learning to write. For one thing, it's about learning to turn a loose assemblage of […] Source: Tyler Comrie / The Atlantic
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