Speculation grows alongside the rise of AI

By Anna Kerr / Arts & Entertainment Reporter 

AI ART: Freshman Madi Whiteley generates AI artwork of St. Henry School’s 8th-grade volleyball tournament victory during Catholics Schools Week in May. Photo courtesy of Madi Whiteley / Freshman Intern.

AI has been a recent conversation at Harpeth Hall and all over the world. New technologies such as Chat GPT have caused anxiety in many industries around the world, and schools like Harpeth Hall share that fear. 

Students are presented with a new, automated, highly specialized way to write specific essays for all areas of study. Students have the power to use AI-generated art which puts authentic art at risk of not getting the recognition it deserves. 

Chat GPT collects information from the internet and uses that information and data to write essays on any given topic. It forms general essays that reply to the inserted prompt that is given. While this new AI program has been named one of the best technological inventions of 2022, it has many repercussions. 

The college admissions process will likely be greatly affected by these new AI-generated essays. Students have the ability to generate an essay with a few clicks of a keyboard.  

“Chat GPT hasn’t affected (the college process) yet, but we are in the very early days and we are talking a lot about it. I was on a ZOOM with a bunch of other college counselors when I first heard about it,’” Senior Associate Director of College Counseling Amy Evans said. 

Evans discussed how Chat GPT is being debated by both the college counselors and college admissions teams. While some people fear this new technology, Harpeth Hall has taken a different approach. “No one is trying to get rid of the essay,” Evans said, but Harpeth Hall is “trying to figure out a way where [Chat GPT] can be incorporated with integrity into the work we do. 

AI might also affect departments such as English, history, and art.  

“I am curious about how it can help us and how we can use it as a tool both. We will have to make some choices about how to use it for our best selves while trying to make critical thinkers and writers. We are aware of the true voice of our students so it is clear if a student uses an outside source.”Upper School English Teacher Denise Croker said. 

Additionally, AI art has the capability of copying other famous artists’ styles, which violates many copyright laws. The AI system will adopt styles and techniques from artists that put their work online without their permission. Furthermore, no credit is given to the authentic artists who the AI generators copy from. However, copyright laws do not necessarily apply to AI art because it is still a new technology. Lawmakers do not know how to protect artists’ art from these AI websites. 

Chat GPT has gotten a lot of press for being one of the best technological inventions in 2022, and AI can actually cause harm to many industries and schools. It begs the question of whether or not this change will be a good one. Ensuring that AI is used for ethical purposes is necessary to maintain authenticity in this world. 

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