New York City rescinds ban on ChatGPT use in public schools

The ChatGPT app is displayed on an iPhone in New York, Thursday, May 18, 2023. The free app started to become available on iPhones in the U.S. on Thursday and will later be coming to Android phones. Unlike the web version, you can also ask it questions using your voice. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

The chancellor of New York City’s school system announced Thursday that the city has revoked its ban on the use of ChatGPT in public schools.

Chancellor David Banks wrote in an op-ed, published by Chalkbeat Thursday, that while the school system proceeded with “initial caution” concerning artificial intelligence (AI) programs earlier this year, they will now work to integrate the programs into the curriculum.

He wrote that they consulted with technology and education experts to come to the decision and are ready to teach students about the advantages and disadvantages of AI.

“Our nation is potentially on the brink of a significant societal shift driven by generative artificial intelligence,” he wrote. “We must make sure that this technology’s benefits are equitably distributed to prevent further widening of socioeconomic gaps in our country.”

Schools will now use resources developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to “encourage all schools to engage students in activities exploring how artificial intelligence has already impacted their lives and the broader issues it presents to our society,” Banks added.

“New York City Public Schools will encourage and support our educators and students as they learn about and explore this game-changing technology while also creating a repository and community to share their findings across our schools,” he said.

ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence chatbot program, was banned from New York City public school devices and networks due to “concerns about negative impacts on student learning” earlier this year.

The rise of new AI programs like ChatGPT have speaks concerns among lawmakers and officials that it could have negative effects if it is not regulated.

Tags ChatGPT David Banks New York City

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