Love or fear ChatGPT? The answer may depend on which side of the classroom you are at. With its ability to produce full-length essays and solve word-based math problems with almost human-like finesse, it is no wonder that the emergence of ChatGPT has caused ripples in the education sector.

Fearful of flagrant cheating, educational institutions around the world are taking steps to counter the impact of ChatGPT. Some American and Australian universities are revising their teaching and assessment methods while schools in the USA, France, and Australia have also banned the use of ChatGPT in their classrooms. While anti-plagiarism tools are not new, the entry of ChatGPT has encouraged the development of more of such software, such as GPTZero.

The concern is warranted and the steps taken are prudent. However, we should adopt a long-term perspective towards technology, notably artificial intelligence (AI), in our lives. As we navigate our way through the digital age, we can expect AI to continue to evolve and threaten to disrupt life as we know it. Rather than respond with a knee-jerk reaction every time this happens, it is perhaps more constructive to view AI as a partner whose affordances can be harnessed for mankind’s benefit instead, especially in education.

It is also an opportunity for educators to pause and reflect on current pedagogical practices. For example, the efficacy of existing pedagogical and assessment methods should be evaluated critically so that educators can provide better and more creative learning support for their students. It is important also to emphasise the development of soft skills such as social skills and critical thinking. As the debate over ChatGPT rages on, a long-term and holistic approach towards the role of AI in education is necessary so that sustainable solutions can be reached.

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Mr Ho Swee Huat

Mr Ho Swee Huat is the Founder and Managing Director of Abacus Assets Advisors Pte Ltd. Before starting the company, he had an established career in the banking industry, with 20 years of experience in Singapore, Hong Kong and New York.

He was an Independent Director and Chairman of the Audit Committee of CapitaCommercial Trust Management LTD from 2004 to 2013.

He is the current Chairman of Autism Association (Singapore) which he co-founded with a group of parents in 1992. He is also Vice-Chairman of Eden School, a special school for children with autism.

Mr Ho holds a Master’s degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a Liberal Arts degree in Economics from Hamilton College, USA.

He has been a member of the Board of the Foundation since its incorporation.