Kentucky State University Computer Science Graduate Gives Talk on AI and Education: Harnessing Opportunities, Avoiding Misuse
FRANKFORT, KY – With the growth of Artificial Intelligence (AI), many have become accustomed to using it in everyday life. Recent Kentucky State University graduate Amrit Nepal presented a project on how AI is affecting academics, on Friday, September 22, 2023, at the Rufus B. Atwood Building during a biweekly roundtable meeting of STEM Undergraduate Research Assistants.
Nepal graduated from KSU in December 2022 with a Master’s Degree in Computer Science. He is currently working at KSU as a Research Associate under Dr. Buddhi Gyawali as a full-time employee.
Within the presentation, Nepal focused on using AI to make the learning process easier, to generate ideas on certain topics and to gather initial information, but not to completely copy the entire AI-generated content.
Some students are using tools like ChatGPT and Bard to generate entire assignments. Students give instructions to ChatGPT; for example: “Write a 500-word article on climate change. Write it as if it was written by a human being with simple words.” The AI will then generate an article that looks like it was written by a human. Once the article is generated, students will copy the entire article, then submit it as their own work.
In response to some students’ increasing use of AI for assignments, professors have used AI to determine if the assignments and articles were written by the student or by an AI. Professors are now able to see what percentage of an assignment was generated using AI.
“During the presentation, I gave one example where I asked ChatGPT to generate an article on climate change,” Nepal said. “Once it generated the article, I copied it and tested it in another AI content checker tool. That tool indicated that the content was written by AI and the percentage was 99 percent AI. Again, to make it harder for AI checker tool, I paraphrased the entire article. Now the percentage decreased to 83, but still it was enough to make the professors aware that it was not written by a student.”
Nepal suggests that students should use AI for learning purposes and to get ideas on topics when they are facing problems but should not completely depend on AI for submitting their assignments and research papers, which will, in the long term, affect both the creativity and grades of students.
“The future is all about AI, so we must use it in a proper way. AI should be used to generate ideas, but students shouldn’t completely depend on it to submit their work,” Nepal said.
The STEM Undergraduate Research Assistants meet twice monthly to discuss their experiential research project progress and learn other STEM-related topics. Speakers from different STEM fields are invited to these meetings to talk about cutting-edge STEM research, STEM career paths, and essential skills expected in the STEM workforce. There are currently 22 undergraduate STEM majors participating in the project “Preparing the Pipeline of Next Generation STEM Professionals (Award Number (FAIN): HRD 2011917” funded by the National Science Foundation, PI. Dr. Buddhi Gyawali). For more information about STEM Undergraduate Research Assistants, contact Dr. Buddhi Gyawali at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ms. Erion Smith, a Mass Communication senior and STEM-Undergraduate Research Assistant, drafted this press release (NOT AI).
Photo of Mr. Nepal above and his presentation below to students.