Section: Editorial

The College must establish a clear policy on AI

In November of 2022, OpenAI released ChatGPT, a powerful artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot that can spit out paragraphs from a brief prompt in a matter of seconds. ChatGPT’s implications for academic honesty are clear: It can produce lines of code given a single instruction and write essays on subjects spanning every academic department at Kenyon. Forty percent of students globally use generative AI for academic tasks, according to Inside Higher Ed. With this in mind, Kenyon must institute a college-wide policy banning the use of AI for compositional and computational assignments without the explicit instruction of the professor.

Many school administrators and faculty have felt overwhelmed in the face of this new technology — one that is rapidly evolving and improving. Some Kenyon professors have introduced additions to their syllabi banning the use of ChatGPT for assignments, while others allow students to use it with explicit approval. Many do not mention AI at all. 

The lack of a comprehensive AI policy at Kenyon contributes to a couple of rising concerns: first, that students will be uncertain about what constitutes a valid use of AI in academic assignments, and second, that unauthorized uses of AI will severely diminish the academic rigor of Kenyon’s curriculum. 

There are on-campus opportunities for students to study AI models such as ChatGPT and consider its broader impacts without using it to plagiarize. Kenyon is one of few colleges that has a concentration dedicated to the integration of computational tools such as AI with the humanities. This concentration, the Integrated Program in Humane Studies, allows students to study artificial intelligence while applying age-old questions to investigate the ethics of modern technology. 

But using ChatGPT to write essays, create code or complete problem sets undermines the very purpose of education, which is not merely to obtain a degree but also to learn how to think. For a liberal arts college that prides itself on a pedagogy that encourages critical thinking, it is all the more essential that the administration addresses the rise of generative AI.

Sincerely,

Annalia, Audrey and Katie

This editorial was written by editors-in-chief Katie Sparvero ’25 and Audrey Baker ’25 and managing editor Annalia Fiore ’25. You can contact them at sparvero1@kenyon.edu, baker10@kenyon.edu and fiore1@kenyon.edu, respectively. 

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