The introduction of AI assistants has taken the world by storm, with people from all over the world currently using AI assistants to complete everyday tasks. However, there is a challenge that AI companies did not anticipate; the effect artificial intelligence has on education. Since most of these assistants are available for free, students everywhere have discovered that you can instruct AI to complete academic writing tasks, specifically essays. So, the question is, does the rise of AI assistants mean the death of essays? Is it time to stop looking for research papers for sale? No. Let’s see why.
Artificial intelligence is a branch of computer science that focuses on creating machines or programs that conduct tasks that require normal human intelligence, like recognizing images and understanding language. It’s a collection of technology for various domains and problems.
One of the main domains where AI thrives is Natural Language Processing (NLP), a computer science field focusing on analyzing and generating natural language. NLP is meant to serve purposes such as translation, summarizing texts, answering questions, generating captions, and, as you guessed, writing essays.
Through prompts, NLP can write an essay based on some keywords, and it only takes a few minutes or seconds. It all sounds amazing, but should we be scared that AI will kill essay writing? No, and here’s why.
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Why AI Won’t Kill Essays
AI assistants might be impressive tools, but they are yet to be able to replace human intelligence because of some of the limitations they possess.
AI Does Not Understand the Context
A major challenge NLP faces is teaching machines to understand humans’ intentions. These elements are influenced by context, emotion, culture, and more. For instance, a phrase can have two meanings depending on the context and the writer, and AI cannot capture these nuances that are useful in crafting creative and persuasive essays.
AI Cannot Generate Original Content
Another challenge NLP faces is that it has to rely on existing information to generate texts. It means the AI assistant cannot produce anything that has never been written or said. All NLP can do is rephrase info from different sources and combine it to create a text which might not pass plagiarism checks.
AI Essays Are Bland
When you read an essay written by AI, it might sound okay at first. Still, a professor or instructor can easily detect issues, such as overgeneralization or too many clichés. Furthermore, these essays are not likely to be backed by evidence or examples. Once you compare essays written by a human and AI, you will realize the latter is more of a collection of statements borrowed from different sites.
AI Cannot Learn From Feedback
Unlike students, AI cannot learn to improve from feedback. When you write an essay and a professor points out some mistakes and ways to improve, you will likely improve with time. AI cannot understand its errors and improve like the writers in an essay writing service. NLPs don’t have standards or goals to aspire to, just the algorithm to produce text from prompts and keywords.
AI Detection Tools
Immediately after NLPs became popular and people started using them for essays and various papers, some companies produced AI detection programs. Such a program scans through a text and identifies what percentage of it is written by AI.
These tools are meant to be used by teachers and professors to identify students who use AI assistants to complete their essays. It’s worth noting that they are not completely foolproof, but they are effective, especially for identifying low-quality AI content. However, these checkers are bound to improve with time, just like plagiarism checkers did some decades ago.
How Students Should Use AI
AI assistants might produce content, but students could misuse the technology. AI does not have to be an enemy of essay writing; instead, we should encourage better ways to use technology to improve our writing. The right way to use AI for essay writing is for:
- Brainstorming ideas for our essays.
- Finding sources for our arguments and points.
- Grammar and spell checking.
AI is here to assist, not replace us, and we should use it to improve our writing, not undermine it.
As you can see, AI assistant is not yet at a point where it can kill essay writing. We should be proud that our generation has created bots that can make our lives easier when called upon. However, we should not misuse the technology.