A college professor and I were talking about artificial intelligence and what she’s seeing from her students. She confirmed that AI-generated content is a regular occurrence in papers students write. Some tools (such as Turnitin.com) are getting smarter about detecting AI-generated content to help professors determine when work is authentic versus AI-generated. One situation, though, was sadly amusing to me.
One of the papers turned in by a student included a statement to the effect of, “I’m sorry, but I don’t know the answer to that question.” It was clear that the student had submitted a query to an AI chatbot—which didn’t know how to respond—and the student blindly copied the content into the paper without actually reading it. I probably don’t need to tell you the grade the student got.
In my article Critical Thinking Isn’t Enough: 8 Ways to Be a Critical Persuader, I talk about a fellow named Vick, who was very well-versed on a topic but couldn’t present coherent thoughts in a way that would convince someone of his way of thinking. Vick was a critical thinker, but couldn’t make the leap to being a critical persuader. The situation the professor mentioned underscored a new “critical” category I hadn’t considered.
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