Ban instituted against ChatGPT by New York schools amidst cheating fears

Jan 7, 2023
Apps, Software

Schools under the New York City Department of Education have elected to ban access to ChatGPT from any school network or device. The move comes amidst fears that ChatGPT will encourage students to cheat and, therefore, not develop their critical thinking and reasoning. Students will still, however, be able to access the utility from their homes and any personal devices not connected to the schools’ networks. 

Chalkbeat New York, a news repository focused on education, reported on the story first. In an interview with Chalkbeat New York, a NYC Department of Education spokesperson, Jenna Lyle, confirmed the reasoning for the ban as the ‘negative impacts (of AI) on student learning, and concerns regarding the safety and accuracy of content.’ Lyle elaborated further that ‘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.’

It’s at this point where I need to poke my head out of the tech-writer echo chamber and question the very fabric of human nature. We’re well past the time when schools actively taught critical thinking and problem-solving. Education is now focused on critical race theory and teaching students to be good test takers. Test takers don’t have critical thinking or problem-solving skills that would be beneficial to them for the rest of their lives. Another point is that academia has changed so much in the last 50 years that it’s barely recognizable. I remember a time when we weren’t allowed to use calculators. Now, they’re even used in examinations. Tech influences the way we teach, learn, and experience the world around us. In another 50 years, AI in schools may be so normal and accepted that it borders on boring. 

Ban instituted against ChatGPT


The article that prompted me to write my response was posted on The Verge. In the article, the author notes that there are significant issues with ChatGPT in that it perpetuates stereotypes and prejudices. When did we start ascribing technology with the responsibility to not offend humans? This is software and hardware and coding. This is not a human. ChatGPT doesn’t perpetuate or amplify sexism or any other human prejudice; it simply delivers information it finds on the internet. The provenance of that information, particularly that which offends other humans, is created by humans. 

With regards to the NYC Department of Education, ChatGPT also carries no responsibility to furnish the user with factual information. The user alone carries the responsibility to verify that any information is factually correct. 

While I believe that tools like ChatGPT certainly make it easier for people to cheat due to it being so easy to use, it is not the tool that causes the cheater to cheat. If a student intends to cheat on an assignment, they will find a way. Nonetheless, keeping tech that the majority of people simply don’t understand yet, like ChatGPT, out of learning institutions and general professional environments might be a good idea, for now. 

In the future, I hope to write a deep dive into ChatGPT and other large language models to settle once and for all what these tools are capable of and how they are intended to be used. These are not infallible resources that you should stake your reputation on. Language models are just that; model software and coding intended to facilitate pseudo-human-to-human interaction. Nothing more, nothing less. ChatGPT does not claim to be an expert in anything; therefore, it carries no responsibility for the way users decide to use it. It is not a human; therefore, it carries no responsibility to act, appear, or think as a human does. 


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  1. bruh said on August 18, 2023 at 1:25 pm

    Uhh, this has already been possible – I am not sure how but remember my brother telling me about it. I’m not a whatsapp user so not sure of the specifics, but something about sending the image as a file and somehow bypassing the default compression settings that are applied to inbound photos.

    He has also used this to share movies to whatsapp groups, and files 1Gb+.

    Like I said, I never used whatsapp, but I know 100% this isn’t a “brand new feature”, my brother literally showed me him doing it, like… 5 months ago?

  2. 💥 said on August 18, 2023 at 3:55 pm

    Martin, what happened to those: 12 Comments ( Is there a specific justifiable reason why they were deleted?

    Hmm, it looks like the gHacks website database is faulty, and not populating threads with their relevant cosponsoring posts.

  3. 45 RPM said on August 19, 2023 at 6:29 pm

    The page on ghacks this is on represents the best of why it has become so worthless, fill of click-bait junk that it’s about to be deleted from my ‘daily reads’.

    It’s really like “Press Release as re-written by some d*ck for clicks…poorly.” And the subjects are laughable. Can’t wait for “How to search for files on Windows”.

    1. owl said on August 20, 2023 at 12:51 am

      > The page on ghacks this is on represents the best of why it has become so worthless, fill of click-bait junk…

      Sadly, I have to agree.

      Only Martin and Ashwin are worth subscribing to.
      Especially Emre Çitak and Shaun are the worst ones.

      If intended “Clickbait”, it would mark the end of Ghacks Technology News.
      Ghacks doesn’t need crappy clickbaits. Clearly separate articles from newer authors (perhaps AIs and external sales person or external advertising man) as just “Advertisements”!

      We, the subscribers of Ghacks, urge Martin to make a decision.

  4. chessandonions said on August 20, 2023 at 12:40 am

    because nevermore wants to “monetize” on every aspect of human life…

  5. Frank Rizzo said on August 20, 2023 at 11:52 pm

    “Threads” is like the Walmart of Social Media.

  6. Ashray said on August 21, 2023 at 4:06 pm

    How hard can it be to clone a twitter version of that as well? They’re slow.

  7. Paul(us) said on August 21, 2023 at 5:16 pm

    Yes, why not mention how large the HD files can be?
    Why, not mention what version of WhatsApp is needed?
    These omissions make the article feel so bare. If not complete.

    1. Paul(us) said on August 21, 2023 at 5:18 pm

      Sorry posted on the wrong page.

  8. Marc said on August 21, 2023 at 6:00 pm

    such a long article for such a simple matter. Worthless article ! waste of time

  9. plusminus_ said on August 21, 2023 at 7:54 pm

    I already do this by attaching them via the ‘Document’ option.

  10. John G. said on August 21, 2023 at 11:43 pm

    I don’t know what’s going on here at Ghacks but it’s obvious that something is broken, comments are being mixed whatever the article, I am unable to find some of my later posts neither. :S

  11. Tom Hawack said on August 23, 2023 at 2:28 pm

    Quoting the article,
    “As users gain popularity, the value of their tokens may increase, allowing investors to reap rewards.”

    Besides, beyond the thrill and privacy risks or not, the point is to know how you gain popularity, be it on social sites as everywhere in life. Is it by being authentic, by remaining faithful to ourselves or is it to have this particular skill which is to understand what a majority likes, just like politicians, those who’d deny to the maximum extent compatible with their ideological partnership, in order to grab as many of the voters they can?

    I see the very concept of this as unhealthy, propagating what is already an increasing flaw : the quest for fame. I won’t be the only one to count himself out, definitely.

    1. Tom Hawack said on August 23, 2023 at 2:34 pm

      @John G. is right : my comment was posted on [] and it appears there but as well here at []

      This has been lasting for several days. Fix it or at least provide some explanations if you don’t mind.

  12. Tom said on August 24, 2023 at 11:53 am

    > Google Chrome is following in Safari’s footsteps by introducing a new feature that allows users to move the Chrome address bar to the bottom of the screen, enhancing user accessibility and interaction.

    Firefox did this long before Safari.

  13. Mavoy said on September 16, 2023 at 2:17 pm

    Basically they’ll do anything except fair royalties.

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