From SnapChat to the Classroom: The Growing Role of AI Chatbots and Integration in Education and Social Media


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Ayan S., Staff Writer

One surfing the internet may encounter ‘Let’s Plays’, tier lists, and comedy videos featuring Donald Trump, Joe Biden, and Barack Obama. Three of the most titular characters in the 21st century seem to be cracking jokes at each other’s expense and spewing one-liners while commenting on B- roll. Others have listened to famous rappers Drake and PlayBoi Carti’s faithful rendition of Fifty-Fifty’s song “Cupid,” or even Drake and the Weeknd’s unforeseen feature “Heart on My Sleeve,” which shook the music industry. Imitations of presidents and musicians have been the most prominent recently. Uncanny media like this stems from an entire genre of AI-generated, trending content. The aforementioned are the latest examples of AI-generated ‘Deep fakes’, a phenomenon that isn’t outlandish and is entirely plausible within the realm of AI. Deepfake personalities, including voice and video, are one of the many facets of Artificial intelligence influencing today’s media landscape.

 AI is also infiltrating the music scene, with Spotify’s acquisition of Sonantic in June. This has produced the AI DJ Xavier, who uses the listeners’ data to curate a stream of songs to fit any mood, often grouping songs by genre and frequency of track listens. 

Snapchat adopted the latest wave of AI integration with the rollout of “My AI,” utilizing the latest version of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, a personal chatbot that, according to Snapchat’s website, “can answer a burning trivia question, offer advice on the perfect gift for your BFF’s birthday, help plan a hiking trip for a long weekend, or suggest what to make for dinner.”

 This new feature already faces controversy as Reddit users have scarily reported the chatbot describing the photos sent to it, then retracting its statements when questioned about the incident.

AI is also being found on the political front, According to tech outlet The Verge, Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY) introduced a new bill to require disclosures of AI-generated content in political ads.

It feels as if AI is everywhere, especially in homes and classrooms. 

“One way that I use AI is when I am researching and trying to come up with a solution for a project or content for a quiz, and I don’t have the opportunity to speak to a colleague, I will log into Chat GPT, and I will ask it for its feedback.  Not everything that ChatGPT creates is great [or] off the shelf, it needs polish. It needs editing. It needs to be looked at. it can’t just be published the way that it is,” said English teacher William Patterson

Patterson, an English teacher and the head of the Commack Television Network, uses AI to help students generate scripts, video ideas, and pictures to aid in multimedia projects. 

“There is no end to the way that it is being used. It is surpassing most exams that are thrown at it, including perfecting the SATs. There’s no question that we are at a turning point in our history as a race. I think that it needs to be something that educators are embracing, acknowledging, and applying because as students graduate from high school, they will be in a world that is saturated with artificial intelligence. They need to know how to use those tools,” said Patterson.

Patterson views AI as a seminal step in technological evolution.

“Educators were concerned about the introduction of computers back when they were first installed in schools, and now computers are integrated into our education system in ways that expand students’ understanding of the world.  I believe AI will follow a similar path.  It will be a difficult transition but ultimately we will be able to offer [a] more engaging curriculum through the use of AI,” said computer science teacher Kristen Holmes, in an email. 

Holmes views AI as an untapped source of knowledge that can lend itself well in the hands of educators. 

“I believe AI will be ubiquitous, and we won’t even notice it.  On one level, it is happening already.  We do not even notice the number of times we type words incorrectly because they are automatically corrected.  We will find AI offering suggestions and solutions, and we won’t even realize that an AI system has supported us.  Think of the person with a speech impediment who can have their words made clearer by processing them through an AI natural language system.  Or glasses that can enhance images to help visually impaired individuals.  As I type, words and phrases are being suggested to me, and that can save time and improve communication,” said Holmes.

As AI  improves, CEOs like IBM’s Arvind Krishna seek to utilize the technology to automate the company even further as he plans to replace nearly 8,000 jobs with AI.

“ It is important for communities to educate and train its members so that they can take advantage of these opportunities. Every student should be graduating high school with an understanding of the basics of computer science since these changes are likely to occur across many different industries,” said Holmes.

Computer literacy is undoubtedly growing among younger generations, but with rapid tech growth and AI adding a new dimension, students will need to make sure they are proficient. 

While faculty can encourage the use of AI, without their consent, it can violate the academic integrity policy. Not once does it state “AI” in the academic integrity protocol, but with the exponential growth of AI’s popularity and subsequent use, that very well may change. 

While AI is in its infancy, students can take advantage of its neoteric nature and submit entire assignments generated by ChatGPT, with many detection systems teachers used by teachers rendered useless. This sparks the debate as to how to handle AI-submitted work effectively.

“To address the risks, schools need to ensure that they have clear academic integrity policies that differentiate between the acceptable and prohibited use of AI,” said Holmes. 

As AI grows to become a prominent threat of academic dishonesty precautions need to be taken by the school to be clear on the acceptable use of AI. 

“Schools need to educate students on the ethics of claiming work that they did not create. Teachers need to reevaluate their assignments to make them rich and specific so that the use of AI will be obvious and ineffective.  This is new technology, so it will require training for the teachers since few know how to create AI-proof assignments,” said Holmes.

As AI matures and public institutions implement new policies and procedures to combat its misuse, they could see a loophole possibly closing. As for AI stealing your future job: probably not. For now, it’s going to be your chatbot, DJ, and YouTube genre.🔳