What’s Wrong With Using AI to Write English Papers?

The same thing that is wrong with taking a nap while AI is driving your car or leaving your child to entertain themselves all day online without supervision. What could go wrong? Think back to the last report you wrote for work, the last letter you wrote to a friend or relative or the last time you updated your resume. Now consider never having been given any writing instruction, or more likely never having paid attention to the writing instruction you received because you knew that the computer would handle it for you. We don’t let our children skate by without learning how to do math because we have calculators, so why would we let them simply custom order an essay or report?

It’s human nature to put forth less and less effort as someone else puts forth more and more. The exception is the highly competitive individual that must work harder than anyone in the perceivable area. When it comes to a choice of playing with friends or writing an essay or book report, most kids will hand the work off to the computer and go have a good time. When we follow that kind of behavior to its logical conclusion, we end up with a world that stops moving forward because eventually, no one will be able to express their thoughts in a manner that can be understood without the help of a computer. If there is no one around that can articulate their original thoughts in order to upgrade the computer software, our ability to communicate progresses no further than the last update. Of course, we will still have those uber competitive individuals, but what if they have no interest in upgrading software?

Tony Wan broached this subject in an article for EdSurge. https://www.edsurge.com/news/2024-04-24-what-do-we-gain-and-lose-when-students-use-ai-to-write His advice is to approach the problem with the same mindset used with the handheld calculator. Teach students to use the writing software as a tool and that the tool is no substitute for what can be imagined and created between someone’s ears. What Tony Wan considers a very real risk is that, “they may start relying on generative AI to the extent that it wholesale replaces their thinking.” If we charge out teachers of the written word to make a place for AI in the curriculum taught to your young people and teach them how to use this new tool responsibly, we may be able to keep those young minds thinking critically while improving their writing skills at the same time.

Phone: (713) 858-4325
Fax: (713) 858-4325
Richmond, TX 77406
1860 FM 359 #229