DENVER (KDVR) — Educators are gathering to figure out how new artificial intelligence, like ChatGPT, could be used to help students while also trying to keep them from using it unethically.

“Dealing with what you can do with AI is going to be a critical component of how we educate people for the next hundred years,” said Dr. Shaun Schafer, vice president of curriculum at Metropolitan State University, Denver.

ChatGPT is a new chatbot that allows anyone to create an artificially generated essay or script. Schafer compared it to the emergence of scientific calculators.

“I just have to put in the numbers and it will make it happen,” Schafer said.

The difference is this new technology was developed recently and is already being used, while calculators developed over a longer period.

“So many of these things you see unfold over years, and this one has unfolded over weeks,” Schafer said.

Teachers test ChatGPT and plan to discuss its future

What follows for educators is how best to use this technology for an advantage in teaching students.

“How are we going to use this? Are we going to use it?” Schafer said. “Where does it fit in? How does it affect things like the creative process?”

Like any new technology, there can be benefits and growing pains.

“The big challenge that we’re having right now is that,” Schafer said. “The way we have written all of our academic honesty rules, they always focus on your original work.”

Schafer shared an essay he and other educators at MSU Denver drafted using this new technology. Their keywords were “Cold War, South America and politics,” and it generated an essay on the subject.

“The work we got back was mostly B and A quality, and it was passable,” Schafer said. “It wasn’t great, but it certainly would get you by.”

What would he do if a student turned in an essay that was AI-generated?

“I would give it the same thing I do when I see plagiarism and I’d say, I’m sorry, that’s academic dishonesty,” Schafer said.

Schafer said a meeting will be held soon among educators about how to best use AI like ChatGPT to the benefit of educating students.