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Should Kids Use AI to Do Schoolwork?

Artificial intelligence is part of our everyday lives. It makes our smart devices work, and you may already be using an AI program in school. But advanced chatbots, like ChatGPT, are new. They are called generative AI. Ask a chatbot a question, and it will generate a whole essay. Some educators worry that chatbots could prevent students from learning on their own. Should students use AI to do their school assignments? We asked our TFK Kid Reporters to argue both sides of the case.

Dylan Patel, 13

San Diego, California

Artificial intelligence could revolutionize the way students learn. Many fear that chatbots can be used as a cheating tool. But safeguards are always being improved, and chatbots can be programmed to guide students through questions instead of giving them the answer. Chatbots can work with teachers, too. They can help teachers create data-driven lesson plans, to individualize student learning. Nobody has to fall behind in class! And AI tutors can provide 24/7 support for students. AI is here to stay. Either you move with the times, or the times will move without you!

Harper Carroll, 10

Boston, Massachusetts

Schoolwork should teach kids skills and develop their brains. While technology can be a useful tool, kids need to become competent at basic tasks independently. This is why kids learn how to do computation, even though calculators have existed for a long time. And it’s why schools teach penmanship and spelling, when most adults write using computers. Kids’ brains need to be exercised to develop, just like their bodies. AI may benefit adults, but it would be detrimental to children if they used AI before they mastered the building blocks of an education.

Alexa Oh, 11

Seattle, Washington

Teaching kids how to use AI can prepare them for our technology-filled future. According to a YouGov poll, most Americans think it’s necessary for students to learn AI-related skills for their future careers. Using AI can help build the critical thinking and problem-solving kids will need. And it’s better that students learn about AI’s limitations now: its biases, its potential to spread misinformation, and the ways it could be misused. I believe that as long as it’s done well, teaching AI in schools will change society for the better.

Ninis Twumasi, 12

New York, New York

We shouldn’t introduce generative AI into schools, for a few reasons. First, chatbots and other AI programs are getting more and more advanced every day. Teachers might not know how to best integrate them into their classes. Second, think of the cost to schools. Many wouldn’t be able to afford the latest technology, and that’s not fair to students. And most of all, AI lacks the humanity and emotion that kids get from a teacher. That human connection is important. A chatbot just feeds students information. But teachers know how to help students retain information.

The Next Debate: Should students be rewarded for perfect attendance? Email your opinion to by October 13, 2023. Your response might be featured in an upcoming issue.

*Submissions have been edited only for length and clarity. They are not intended to reflect the views of TIME for Kids. Ages are accurate as of the time of submission.