Is Artificial Intelligence Replacing Human Intelligence?


(Graphic by Sophie Sun)

The rise of AI has been a hot topic for the past decade, with the inventions of AI robot Sophia and the quickly growing machine learning industry, artificial intelligence is more relevant than ever. 

Recently the rise of ChatGPT, an AI chatbot that has startlingly human-like responses, has raised questions relating to academic integrity and the ethical consequences of AI. 

The Stanford Daily reports that a percentage of their students used ChatGPT in their fall quarter 2022 finals, whether as a reference or as a direct submission; this raised the question of academic integrity and how the development of ChatGPT will impact college admissions and personal essays.

“The personal statement, the personal essay – the key word here is personal,” College and Career Center director Joanne Lewis said. “You can’t cite, you can’t footnote, ‘by the way this was written by an artificial intelligence.’ It’s meant to be coming from the student, which is where the issue of integrity is going to lie.”

Lewis explains how it’s mainly highly selective colleges using software to detect usage of AI in college admissions essays. 

Detection largely depends on the selectivity, time, and energy a college is willing to invest in this issue. 

On the other hand, Lewis contends that in the not so distant future, colleges may drop the need for college essays, much like how the requirement for standardized test scores has become optional in many applications. 

Another option is colleges replacing long essay questions with more short answer ones.

“Ultimately it’s who you are, it’s your personality, it’s how you think that colleges are interested in, not in artificial intelligence,” Lewis said.

ChatGPT represents a greater issue with creativity and society – people are increasingly dependent on artificial intelligence. Prestigious schools like Vanderbilt University use ChatGPT to write letters about mass shootings, judges use ChatGPT as a deciding factor in their rulings, and “authors” are using ChatGPT to publish books. 

As humanity continues using AI as a crutch, human innovation dies out. Textbooks, paintings, stories, songs, poetry – the basis of human development is more and more reliant on AI and the thoughts of a virtual machine that cannot replicate genuine human connection. 

Lewis recounts how, in a recent interaction with the Texas Christian University Dean of Admissions, the concrete human emotion she felt and conveyed via email could not have been imitated by words composed by a computer algorithm.

Of course, AI isn’t entirely evil – ChatGPT challenges the way we think about literature and the development of AI can reduce human error. 

However, AI also raises many ethical and moral questions. Can AI replace human work? If AI makes a wrong decision, is the developer to blame? Are AI-made decisions equivalent to human-made ones? 

These questions will continue to be debated as the rise of artificial intelligence continues and humans adapt to an automated world. 

Despite all this, one thing is certain – the growth of AI has already led to a decrease in human innovation and creativity; people are passing off the work of ChatGPT as their own and artists are using AI to generate artwork. Hours of hard work are being replaced by the single click of a button and humanity is working hard to match it.