NYC Dept of Education bans ChatGPT over student learning concerns

Occurred: January-May 2023

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The use of ChatGPT by students and teachers was banned by New York City's education department over 'negative impacts on student learning and concerns about safety and accuracy of content.'

ChatGPT's ability to generate high quality essay responses across a wide range of subjects sparked fears amongst educators that their writing assignments could quickly become obsolete, and that the system could encourage cheating and plagiarism, and reduce their need to build critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.

The ban appears to have been broadly supported by teachers and parents in New York and across the US. However, some teachers argued banning ChatGPT may prove counterproductive, with students able to learn higher-level critical thinking using the bot.

The NYC Department of Education lifted the ban in May 2023, saying it would 'encourage and support our educators and students as they learn about and explore this game-changing technology while also creating a repository and community to share their findings across our schools.'


Operator: New York City Department of Education
Developer: OpenAI
Country: USA
Sector: Education
Purpose: Generate text
Technology: Chatbot; NLP/text analysis; Neural network; Deep learning; Machine learning; Reinforcement learning  
Issue: Accuracy/reliability; Cheating/plagiarism; Safety
Transparency: Governance

Page info
Type: Incident
Published: December 2023