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Not a (Turing) Test: Hopkins Responds to AI

Abigail Rakotomavo ’26 News Editor
With ChatGPT’s release in November and rapid advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI), educators and students around the country have had little choice but to confront the fact of AI in academics head-on. On the Hill, the a multi-pronged approach response to AI continues to evolve.
 
In collaboration with InspiritAI, Hopkins is hosting a symposium from July 17-28 to expose Connecticut students to the many possibilities and challenges that lie ahead in the realm of AI. The program will include lectures and lessons taught by Stanford and MIT graduates, a group project highlighting AI’s applications in modern society, and college prep workshops. Ellie Stewart, Assistant to Head of School Matt Glendinning, said that the program is not exclusively directed toward students with prior experience with or interest in AI: “I think the idea is to let people see exactly how many applications there are and that it’s not just for people who identify as being really interested in computer science.” Glendinning commented that the program “seemed very current in terms of what we want to do here at the school.”

The whirlwind arrival of AI on the Hill and around the world has already necessitated quick action on the part of educators and administrators. As early as morning assembly on February 24, Assistant Head of School announced an addendum to Hopkins’s honor code: “Please know that any submission of work created by AI as one’s own is a violation of the school’s academic honesty policy.” Roberts noted that “Hopkins plans to be at the forefront of leading educational institutions” in exploring the “meaning and magnitude” of AI in academic contexts.  
 
AI is currently being employed at Hopkins, though its uses seem to vary per teacher or class. Computer science teacher Keri Matthews said that she “typed in comments for students to see how ChatGPT would answer those questions,” so she has “tried to cheat with it a little bit too.” Glendinning described his time in

Mr. DeNaples’ Atlantic Communities II class: “They had just been studying the Great Depression, and he started the class by [asking] every student to get on ChatGPT… The instructions were [to] ask ChatGPT for 10 multiple choice questions about the Great Depression, then turn to your neighbor and discuss those questions, answer them, and then make them better.” Justin Wang ’25, a student in DeNaples’ class, thought that the activity was useful, especially because ChatGPT “doesn’t spew out the same answers for everybody.” Munib Kassem ’25 used ChatGPT in his Chemistry class with Ms. Stauffer and said it allowed him to better understand and apply certain formulas: “Once it taught me how to do one question, I was able to run with it and I was able to do any problem.”

While AI poses certain risks as it is used in more casual contexts, it can also be used as a resource. According to Matthews, a  number of professions employ AI because, “computers don’t make as many mistakes as humans, usually.” AI has made work that employs technology more efficient. Associate Director of Advancement Services Dan Junkins said, “I’ve read some articles about how much more productive scientists can be by using ChatGPT: They can simulate things faster, they can read things faster, they can even come up with ideas faster.” AI can be an asset to the general public, too. Kassem thinks it can be “more direct” than some search engines. Wang said, “Say you have some random term that you don’t really understand the meaning of… you can ask [ChatGPT] what it is and then it’ll explain it to you in a way that could be easier than searching it up on Google.” According to Junkins, “a self-directed learner can learn almost anything” with AI at their disposal.

Moving forward, as Roberts noted in his announcement, Hopkins will make efforts to implement AI into the curriculum. Matthews said, “It’s more of a tool, it’s not something to be afraid of... I think faculty are looking at ways we can use it rather than just try to avoid it.” Stewart said, “There were educators in different high schools whose immediate instinct was [to think of] how to protect against this.” Notes Stewart, “It’s foolish to think you’ll be able to stem the tide, so it’s to everyone’s benefit to really lean into it a little bit and figure out how we can make it work for the benefit of our students and community altogether.”
Glendinning emphasized that we are on the cusp of an AI revolution: “This is as big as the invention of the internet — or bigger, even.” He said, “This is huge what we’re seeing here, and I think we’re just at the very beginning of it. Things are going to change so quickly.”
 
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