Last issue, we looked at how a few Northwestern faculty viewed the growth of artificial intelligence (AI). With the rise of AI platforms, such as Chat GPT, most professors have issued caution.
AI usage has grown in the digital era and can even be found within dorm rooms or on our phones. Students may have an Alexa or Google Home to listen to music or use Siri to set alarms or timers on their phones.
Junior Youth Ministry major Alissa Hugen rarely uses AI in her day-to-day life. “So that either means that I live under a rock, or it is so ingrained that I do not notice it,” she said, claiming a neutral stance of AI. “I do not have any Apple devices, so I do not use Siri. Although, [Google] search suggestions are nice, and that is a form of AI.”
Other students use AI, but are worried that it may be a threat to original creativity.
Freshman theatre major Mackenna Thurman uses artificial intelligence for “understanding and mapping out projects and homework.” He also said, “I think AI is cool but should not be used for plagiarism. Although I love it and use it almost every day, I also believe that it could threaten creative thinking as a whole, and that thought scares me.”
Sophomore theatre major Jessica Schulmeister has used ChatGPT to generate creative ideas for “brainstorming stories and sometimes to help me organize my thoughts.” Schulmeister views AI as a tool that should be used in fun manner, but it does have the potential to become dangerous.
Senior public relations major Ethan Natelborg believes that the use of AI makes people lazier. “We have become way lazier as a society, and we have started valuing the accessibility of knowledge over having knowledge,” Natelborg said. Natelborg also believes that artificial intelligence “harms the creativity of the individual. It has its place, but there is a worry that it could be abused.”
“I like it for idea creation,” one student said. “But it does make it easier to avoid hard things and tasks.”
“I like to bounce ideas off of AI, with things that are like unimportant busy work,” another student said, echoing the previous student’s ideas.” But, at the same time, once you start it can lead to a slippery slope.”
“I think it makes students less creative than they already are,” Jillian Simon said. “Get a free pass of their assignments.” Simon worked with middle schoolers this summer and many of them had AI significant others. “They also do not talk to people. They would come to me, tell me about an issue they had with a friend, and I would tell them to go talk to their friends. But then they would just text instead!”
AI will not go away anytime soon, but students should be cautious about overuse and have it not stifle their creativity.