A song in the style of the British rock band Queen, an analysis of a poem or an entire thesis - with just a few clicks, chatbots like ChatGPT spit out a generated text for every request. Despite critical voices, Hessian schools and universities are positive about artificial intelligence (AI). "The use of AI applications in the classroom, including through ChatGPT, can support students individually in their learning process," says the Hessian Ministry of Education.
AI-based applications are not only a support for students, "but also a relief for the teachers". The applications are intended as a further development of digitally supported teaching. "Hessen is therefore developing an intelligent tutorial system for use in the classroom as part of the cross-state projects with other states," said the Ministry of Education. However, the project is still in the early stages.
Reinhard Schwab, chairman of the Hessian Association of Philologists, also considers bans on schoolchildren to be "unhelpful". Nevertheless, Schwab takes a critical look at the current phenomenon. "It would be a fatal development if mental qualities remain idle because independent thinking is neglected," he said. It is all the more important that teachers enable the students to critically examine artificial intelligence.
While schoolchildren still have to go to school, the semester break for students at the Hessian universities begins in mid-February. And with that, the deadlines for homework and theses are getting closer. However, the universities are not worried about forged exams. "So far, no cases of improper use of the ChatGPT software at the Goethe University have become known," says the university in Frankfurt.
There they see ChatGPT as "an element of digital transformation" and want to set up a corresponding research center this year. "Of course, such processes also require scientific monitoring and critical reflection." At the Rhein-Main University of Applied Sciences, it has already been established "in personal discussions" with students that ChatGPT and similar tools are used. Advantages such as educational equity, time savings, learning support and overcoming writer's block are just as important as the disadvantages. "AI tools endanger education by inviting responsibility and superficiality, but they also offer far-reaching opportunities," said the university.
The universities in Marburg and Kassel as well as the Technical University of Darmstadt are also working intensively on the performance of artificial intelligence. "We are observing the developments and checking how we will react to them. This can result in an adjustment of examination formats, for example," reports the Technical University of Darmstadt. However, the university does not assume that the students will soon no longer be writing their own homework. In Marburg, too, they want to think about developing new examination formats.